ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s highest court has reversed the convictions of a man who pleaded guilty to a gang charge after he was accused of shooting into rapper Lil Wayne’s tour buses on a Georgia highway.
Jimmy Carlton Winfrey was sentenced in November 2015 to serve 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
The Georgia Supreme Court on Friday said the trial judge improperly participated in the plea negotiations, making Winfrey’s plea involuntary.
During a pretrial hearing, prosecutors told the judge Winfrey had rejected three plea offers and no more were anticipated. The judge warned Winfrey that the plea opportunity was going away and that if he went to trial and got convicted she had a reputation for being tough.