Valdosta Daily Times

March 4, 2014

Murder conviction upheld by Georgia Supreme Court

Matthew Woody
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a Lowndes County man who allegedly killed his girlfriend with an ax in 2010.  

Kenneth Brown, who was 58 at the time of the incident, was convicted in Jan. 2012 of the Christmas Eve 2010 slaying of Charlotte Grant, 47.

Grant was struck four times in the head and once in the back with an ax after an argument erupted when Brown learned that Grant had recently had a telephone conversation with her ex-husband, according to court documents.

Brown was convicted of malice murder, aggravated assault and giving false information to a law enforcement officer. Judge Frank Horkan sentenced Brown to life in prison for malice murder, 20 years in prison for aggravated assault and one year for providing false information to law enforcement.

Brown filed an appeal of his conviction in 2012, arguing that the jury should have been instructed to consider voluntary manslaughter as an appropriate charge in his case because he believed that his actions were the result of a provocation, according to court documents.

In a unanimous decision, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the appeal, stating that “there was no basis” for the jury to have been instructed to consider voluntary manslaughter as a charge and that “acting out of fear” or reacting to “angry statements” is not the same as “acting in the heat of a sudden, irresistible passion,” as the law requires for an voluntary manslaughter charge to be appropriate.

According to reports in December, 2010, at 12:04 a.m., Dec. 24, 2010, Valdosta police officers responded to the 600 block of New Hudson Street in reference to an individual being injured during a domestic dispute.

Upon arrival, police found the 47-year-old Grant being comforted by her son.

She had been struck with an object — stated in court as being an ax — and sustained serious injuries to her upper body and head.

Grant was transported by ambulance to South Georgia Medical Center where she reportedly died a short time later.

Brown was identified by witnesses at the scene and was charged with homicide in her death.