Anita McNeil, the wife of a Kennesaw man convicted of killing an armed trespasser in 2005, is expected to join the NAACP this afternoon when leaders of the organization outline "next steps to secure" her husband's release.
The nation's oldest civil rights organization made the announcement Thursday, one day after Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said he would ask the state's highest court to reject a ruling that could have freed John McNeil.
McNeil is serving life in prison for aggravated assault and felony murder in the Dec. 6, 2005, shooting death of Brian Epp.
Olens had 30 days from the date of Baldwin County Superior Court Judge Hulane E. George's Sept. 25 ruling to respond. If Olens had done nothing, McNeil could have been retried or released.
The NAACP had asked Olens not to appeal the ruling from George, who concldued that McNeil received "ineffective" counsel during his trial. The group sent Olens a petition with the signatures of tens of thousands of people who shared the organization's position.
Olens Wednesday filed a notice of appeal in Baldwin County, a move that will send the case back to Georgia Supreme Court. That court previously upheld McNeil's conviction.
“We are severely disappointed that Attorney General Olens appealed this case,” NAACP Georgia State Conference President Edward Dubose said Thursday in a statement. “We pledge to fight this case until John McNeil is free.”
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