Today, a Superior Court Judge will hear a motion for a new trial for a Douglas woman who was sentenced to life without parole in 2018 for the homicide of 25-year-old Greg Swinson.
The defendant, Jasmine Williams, was arrested in September 2017 after Swinson was unable to recover from a fatal shot that had occurred on September 16. Williams was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. She was booked on the charges and remained in custody until her trial.
A little over a year later, Williams faced her charges in the Superior Court of Coffee County, with multiple witnesses testifying during the proceeding. Evidence showed that Williams and Swinson were going through a breakup and were at Williams’ residence. Swinson woke Williams' roommate up to show him scratches all over his back that he accused Williams of causing.
Williams took the stand and testified that she retrieved a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum long-barreled revolver and approached Swinson with the gun to “scare” and “intimidate” him into leaving her home. She also testified that she “raised the gun into the air and brought it down in an attempt to strike Swinson in the head with it.”
However, instead, the gun was fired and struck Swinson in the rear right side of his head. A medical examiner testified that the bullet exited the upper center portion of his forehead and “lodged” into his left hand. Assistant District Attorney John Rumker argued that Swinson had turned away from Williams “in his last moment” and raised his hands for protection.
After hearing the evidence and testimony, a jury convicted Williams of malice murder and felony murder. She was then sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and has been incarcerated at Pulaski State Prison for almost five years, per the GDC website.
Shortly after Williams’s conviction, a motion for a new trial was filed. The motion has since been amended twice and is scheduled to be heard by the judge today, according to documents filed in the Superior Couty of Coffee County. A copy of the motion claims the grounds for a new trial include:
- The trial court erred by not giving Defendant’s requests to charge accident, justification, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
- The trial court erred by not recusing after speaking with the decedent’s quasi-family ex parte during the trial.
- The trial court erred by admitting 404(b) evidence for the purpose of proving intent and to disprove accident or mistake. This evidence was admitted through the testimony of three witnesses.
Williams was transported back to Coffee County to be present for the hearing and was booked into the Coffee County Jail on September 20 per their roster. Daily Coffee Press will announce the judge’s ruling when it is decided.
******All information was obtained through documents filed in the Superior County of Coffee County and the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office.******