ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man who pleaded guilty to killing a woman in 1984.
The court said in an opinion released Monday that a judge violated Curtis Tyner's constitutional rights by failing to advise him that in pleading guilty, Tyner waived his right against self-incrimination.
Evidence shows the woman, Martha Anne Mickel, hired Tyner to paint her apartment and that he forced her into her car, tied her up, sexually assaulted her and threw her into a nearby Fulton County creek, where she drowned.
Tyner said he pleaded guilty because prosecutors indicated they would seek the death penalty if the case went to trial. The Supreme Court said the judge failed to tell Tyner he would not have to testify at a trial.