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Athens man sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering girlfriend in 2019

Marion Adkins Jr.

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man this week was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted for the murder of his girlfriend over two years ago.

Following a three-day trial in Clarke County Superior Court, jurors on Thursday convicted 43-year-old Marion Adkins Jr. for the shooting death of Latisha Gresham, 36, at their home on Moreland Avenue the night of Jan. 25, 2019.

Athens-Clarke County police said that Adkins claimed he and Gresham were arguing when a gun he was holding accidentally discharged and shot the victim.

Although Adkins remained on the scene, police said he did not report the incident. Another resident called 911 after he returned home from work the next morning and found Gresham lying unresponsive in a hallway, with a plastic bag covering her head, according to police.

Defense attorney Jeff Manciagli in October 2019 was granted a motion that Adkins undergo a psychological exam at the jail.

“(Adkins) has a documented history of mental illness, making such an evaluation an imperative for an effective defense of Defendant,” the attorney stated in the motion.

In a later motion, Manciagli said that Adkins had been diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder, with the prominant symptoms being paranoia, depression, wnd auditory and visual hallucinations.

Adkins at first denied killing Gresham and later gave various reasons for shooting her, according to court records.

The jury found Adkins guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Western Judicial Circuit Judge H. Patrick Haggard sentenced Adkins to life in prison with the possibility of parole plus five years to run consecutive with the life term.

Adkins will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

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