Jury continues deliberations in Cortez Mitchell capital murder trial

Defense attorney Jacob Roberts said Cortez pleads not guilty due to mental defects.

Posted: Feb. 13, 2018 5:58 PM
Updated: Feb. 13, 2018 10:07 PM

The jury is on day two of deliberations in a capital murder trial in Decatur. 19-year-old Cortez Mitchell along with Cedric Cowan, Joseph Cowan and Amani Goodwin are accused of killing Antonio Hernandez Lopez in the carport of his Decatur home and Joshua David at Wilson Morgan Park in May of 2015.

All four were charged with three counts of capital murder, six counts of first degree robbery and one count of each shooting into an occupied building and shooting into an unoccupied building.

Mitchell's defense attorney Jacob Roberts said Goodwin accepted a plea deal last week. He'll serve a life sentence for each felony murder count and 20 years for each robbery count.

"The driver of the car. Amani Goodwin, he struck a deal with the state to plead guilty and got lesser defenses applied to him just prior of this case getting under way," said Cortez's defense attorney, Jacob Roberts.

Roberts said a mental health expert testified in the trial for Mitchell.

"He testified that Cortez had an IQ of 70 and a mental functioning capacity of a 11 and 12 year old. That his reading and writing skills are that of a 4th and 5th grader," Roberts said.

Goodwin also agreed to testify at the trials of all three co-defendants.

"His testimony was that Cortez didn't shove or cause any battery to any of the victims in this case," Roberts said.

Joseph Cowan and Cedric Cowan will go to trial later this year.

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