The Supreme Court in Georgia has reversed the decision on habeas ruling on inadequate counsel in Hines case

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The decision of a lower court was overturned by the Supreme Court in Georgia, which restored a woman’s sentence for the crime related to robbery for about 20 years.

Bridgette Hines and her 12-year-old son’s 2009 robbery of the Lucky Grocery Store at 1423 Stockbridge Road in Jonesboro, led to her conviction.

In Benton’s case, Warden V. Hines contended that she received inadequate counsel from her appeal lawyers. Hines is currently carrying out her sentence in Habersham County where she also presented her case before the habeas court that put her charges and sentence aside.

However, the unanimous decision provided by the state Supreme Court’s Justice Keith R. Blackwell in writing, reversed the decision and restored the charges and prison sentence of Hines.

Hines together with Ricky Timmons Jr. and Geoffrey Jupiter participated in the robbery. Although, Hines and Jupiter stood trial the same day Timmons gave a testimony that implicated both parties, which was an aspect of the plea agreement.

Hines contended that she should have been notified by her lawyers about Timmons’ decision to steer clear of likely 30-year imprisonment by providing a testimony that implicated her.

Timmons stated that on the 1st of January 2009, as others remained in the car, Hines and her son entered the store. Hines then drove to a neighborhood where she informed her son to remove the license plate and gave him a gun. Then, they returned to the store after which Hines and Timmons held up the store with masks on their faces.

The police stated that the clerk in the store was punched in the belly and left in the bathroom. Once their car was stopped by the Clayton County police, Timmons and Hines ran, but was later stopped by the Jonesboro Police officers who observed when Jupiter and Timmons departed the store.

A pistol was found by the police underneath Hines’ seat, and a few hundreds of dollars jammed inside the pocket sleeve of the 12-year-old.

Hines claimed that she informed her son to remove the license plates because it was not hanging properly, but by one screw and had decided to have fun with a slot machine in the store but was rejected and had returned to Timmons hoping to purchase cigarillos. She asserted that she knew nothing of the theft.

Hines also continued that the gun was found earlier and she only offered Jupiter a ride for payment.

Jupiter, Hines and Timmons were charged in March 2009 but after a couple of months, Hines was found guilty of participating in the delinquency of a minor, aggravated abuse, armed robbery and hiding a vehicle’s identity by a jury. She was then condemned to prison for 20 years. Hines’ sentence and charges were also authorized by the Georgia Court of Appeal.

In August 2017, Hines submitted a petition concerning her sentence on constitutional grounds. However, a competent demonstration is needed from a State Writs of Habeus Corpus Attorneybefore a petition can be submitted. Her counsel was identified as being incapable by the habeas court and the state AG’s office went ahead to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court in the state.

The Supreme Court in the state provided a summary that the jury discovered from Timmons’ plea agreement that he was preventing a sentence of 10 years without parole and he would be qualified for parole irrespective of his sentence due to his plea of being guilty.

The court then decided that the marginal value of an extra impeachment as a result of Timmons’ possible maximum charges can be ascertained where a difference would have been made in the jury’s evaluation of integrity since other proofs confirmed his statement and the statement of two other police officers and the implicating statement made by Hines.