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East Cobb Murder Convictions Upheld

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled against the appeal of Lawrence Rice, who is on death row for the 2003 killings of Connie Mincher and her teenage son.

The man sentenced to death for the murders of an East Cobb mother and her son in 2003 has lost his appeal before the Georgia Supreme Court.

The court on Monday announced that it had rejected each of the 10 errors alleged by Lawrence Rice's legal team and found that “the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find Rice guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on all counts.”

Rice was convicted by a Cobb Superior Court jury in 2008 of killing Connie Mincher and her 14-year-old son Ethan on April 17, 2003 in their East Cobb home. Both were repeatedly attacked and bloodied, the wounds consistent with having been struck repeatedly with a hatchet. They were discovered by Marlee Mincher, Connie Mincher's daughter, who was 12 years old at the time.

Connie Mincher died at the scene; Ethan Mincher, a Pope High School student, died after being taken to a hospital.

Rice was sentenced to death for the murders. A former maintenance engineer at a company owned by Trevor Mincher, Connie Mincher's husband, Rice was said by police to have a vendetta against his former employer.

Rice, now 63, is on death row at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

On appeal, Rice's attorneys pointed to what they said were numerous errors during the trial, including his competence to stand trial, during jury selection, during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial, during the sentencing phase of the trial, and regarding the issues he raised in his motion requesting a new trial.

Among Rice's objections was the presentation to the jury of a videotaped deposition with Trevor Mincher, who died of cancer in 2005.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling, found no reversible errors and “that the sentences of death in this case were not imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor.”

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