State drops charges against Justin Chapman, subject of 'Breakdown'


State prosecutors announced Wednesday they will not retry Justin Chapman for arson and murder, more than a year after his convictions for those offenses were thrown out and he was granted a new trial by Georgia’s highest court.

A lengthy court filing, submitted by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, noted that key testimony initially relied upon by Haralson County prosecutors has since been discredited or completely contradicted. It also stated there is no other evidence to corroborate the initial testimony used to convict Chapman. The motion also does not implicate Chapman for the crimes in any way.

Chapman spent more than eight years in prison after his conviction of the crimes.

The case against Chapman, who has always maintained his innocence, was chronicled last year in “Breakdown,” a seven-part podcast by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The podcast was given that name because the criminal justice system broke down repeatedly in Chapman’s case.

“I’m just delighted,” Michael Caplan, one of Chapman’s lawyers, said shortly after the motion was signed by the judge who presided over Chapman’s trial in 2007. “They did the right thing. I’m so happy for Justin and his family.”

Last year, the Georgia Supreme Court granted Chapman a new trial because prosecutors withheld critical evidence that could have been used in Chapman’s defense. The filing on Wednesday by state prosecutors all but ends the case against him. He has been free on bond since the state high court’s ruling.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Amazon warehouse culture like 'prison,' undercover author writes 
Amazon warehouse culture like 'prison,' undercover author writes 

An undercover author said working in an Amazon fulfillment center is like "a prison," where workers were urinating in bottles because they did not have enough time to go to the bathroom.  James Bloodworth, as part of his book "Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain," spent almost a month in 2016 working as a "...
East Point, Georgia Municipal Association host law enforcement event
East Point, Georgia Municipal Association host law enforcement event

The city of East Point will partner with the Georgia Municipal Association to host a law enforcement workshop 10 a.m. to noon Monday, April 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport North, located at 3437 Bobby Brown Parkway in East Point. This workshop focuses on “Law Enforcement Responses to Mentally and Developmentally Challenged Individuals&rdquo...
Man racks up $8,000 bill at Florida resort with fake credit card, police say
Man racks up $8,000 bill at Florida resort with fake credit card, police say

A New York man is accused of charging more than $8,000 at a Florida resort hotel with a counterfeit credit card, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Gavroch Muller Cadet, 27, of Brooklyn, was arrested Monday and charged with multiple counts of forgery of a credit card and a count of possession of marijuana, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office...
Queen Elizabeth's last corgi dog put down
Queen Elizabeth's last corgi dog put down

The last of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis was put to sleep after a long struggle with cancer, The Daily Mail reported. The dog, Willow, was nearly 15. That means that for the first time since World War II, the Queen, 91, does not have a corgi in her household. Monty Roberts told Vanity Fair she didn’t want to have any more young...
Cincinnati councilman apologizes to family of Kyle Plush
Cincinnati councilman apologizes to family of Kyle Plush

A Cincinnati councilman apologized for comments he made to Kyle Plush’s family, and the county’s Republican Party chairman has called for his resignation. During Tuesday’s special meeting, Councilman Wendell Young implied Plush’s family may seek financial compensation in the 16-year-old teen’s death in a...
More Stories