District attorneys like to say they’re always one case away from losing an election. The adage that one foul-up wipes out a thousand attaboys has never applied to Paul Howard, though.
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Some cases during Howard’s DA career:
Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown): The 1960s Black Power leader and West End Imam was convicted in 2002 of murdering Fulton Sheriff Deputy Ricky Kinchen and severely wounded Deputy Aldranon English when he ambushed them with an .223-caliber military-style rifle in 2000. The jury spared him the death penalty, but quickly convicted him despite a vigorous conspiracy defense. Al-Amin is in the Supermax prison in Colorado.
Andrew “Batman” Moore: One of Atlanta’s premier child pimps in 2001 who received 23 years in prison. Howard began prosecuting child pimps under statutory rape and child molestation laws after learning that pimping children was only misdemeanor in Georgia. The legislature has made it a felony.
30 Deep: Jonathan Redding was convicted in 2011 of murdering popular Grant Park bartender John Henderson during a robbery. Another Fulton jury convicted his cousin George “Keon” Redding for a double murder. Both are serving life sentences. The killings put a spotlight on 30 Deep, a group that had been dubbed the “Blue Jeans Bandits” by boutique owners, and was headquartered in the Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh neighborhoods near Turner Field.
Weldon Wayne Carr: In 2003, Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes dismissed the indictment that accused Carr, owner of Hastings Nature & Garden Center on Peachtree Road, of murdering his wife with an arson of their Sandy Springs home in 1993; Carr had been convicted in a nationally televised trial in 1994 but the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1997, Howard’s first year in office. Barnes said Howard had unfairly prejudiced the case against Carr, who always maintained his innocence, by waiting six years to retry the case. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed.
Ray Lewis: Paul Howard was the lead prosecutor when Joseph Sweeting and Reginald Oakley were acquitted of murdering Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar during a brawl in Buckhead on Super Bowl weekend in 2000. Howard had initially also indicted Lewis for murder but during the trial — which happened five months later — cut a plea bargain for Lewis, allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.
Brian Nichols: Despite a well-presented case, Fulton prosecutors failed to get the death penalty for Nichols in the 2005 shooting spree that started with three murders at the courthouse when Nichols, who was on trial for rape, escaped and another murder later in Buckhead. Nichols had offered to plead guilty for a sentence of life without parole.