Ga. Supreme Court upholds Gainesville man’s murder conviction, sentence

A Hall County jury found Christopher Sosebee guilty of felony murder in in July 2020 in the death of Brian Hayes resulting from a traffic accident that occurred during a police chase.

Sosebee, who was 30 at the time, fleeing a Hall County sheriff’s deputy when the crash occurred. The estimated speed of his SUV was 80 mph. His vehicle left the road, went airborne and landed on top of an oncoming pickup, killing Hayes. Sosebee’s girlfriend, who was with him, was seriously injured in the crash.

Last year, a Hall County jury found Sosebee guilty on and he was sentenced to life without parole.

Sosebee contended in his appeal that he should have been sentenced “within the range for homicide by
vehicle in the first degree, rather than for felony murder” and that his sentence of life without parole violates the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment…” His appeal also contended that because neither felony murder nor homicide by vehicle in the first degree, when predicated on fleeing and attempting to elude as in this case, requires malice or specific intent to harm, and because the prior felonies that triggered his sentencing as a recidivist were nonviolent.”

The court’s 18-page ruling was unanimous. You can read it here s23a0589.pdf (