Putnam Man To Appeal Life Sentence For Murder | Crime
A Putnam County man hopes the Georgia Supreme Court will overturn his conviction for shooting a man to death over a dead dog.
David Banks Brett is serving a life sentence for the murder of Jose Garcia-Castro in June 2011.
Brett accused Garcia of neglect after a dog in his care died.
Court documents detailing the case say Brett told several people Garcia "needed his --- whooped for not carrying the dog to the vet." On June 10, 2011, Garcia called Brett and confronted him about the things he had been saying.
According to witnesses, Brett hung up the phone and said, "I'll kill him. He's not going to kill me," and he got a knife from the kitchen.
Brett, armed with a gun, and Garcia, armed with a knife had a brief exchange before Brett fired a single shot, killing Garcia.
Brett's attorney at his original trial argued Brett acted in self-defense because Garcia threatened him with a knife.
Now the Georgia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case next week.
Brett's new attorneys will argue that his constitutional right to effective legal counsel was violated because his former attorney did not object to testimony that was very damaging to his case. They believe the jury would have convicted Brett of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder.
The state will argue Brett's original attorney had practiced law for 30 years and was competent and effective.