ATLANTA — Georgia's highest court has upheld the sentence of life without parole for a man convicted in the Forsyth County beating death of his girlfriend’s son.
The Supreme Court of Georgia on Monday announced the unanimous ruling involving Christopher E. Truett who was convicted in 2014 for the death of 2-year-old Wyatt Pruitt.
An autopsy had found that Wyatt died of blows to the head and abdomen in February 2014. The boy's mother, who had been Truett's girlfriend at the time, said she was at work when the beating occurred.
Truett appealed the conviction, arguing that the Forsyth County Superior Court judge erred in allowing him to ask his character witnesses about any specific instances of good character, but the court rejected any error.
"Here, the jury heard testimony from seven character witnesses, and, despite the trial court’s earlier ruling, most of them testified to numerous specific examples of Truett’s conduct with children....any error by the trial court in limiting the witnesses’ testimony therefore was harmless, as it is highly probable that any such error did not contribute to the verdicts.”
Truett was ultimately convicted of four counts including malice murder and child cruelty in the first degree after a jury trial.