- Associated Press - Saturday, August 5, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Jury deliberations resume Monday in the trial of a Georgia woman accused in a rental dispute that turned deadly.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot sent jurors home Friday night after about 6½ hours of discussion in the case against 71-year-old Vivian Corley.

The Savannah Morning News reports Abbot ordered the panel to return to court at 9 a.m. Monday.

In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor Jerry Rothschild told jurors that Corley intentionally shot an unarmed, innocent woman in what he called an “indefensible shooting.”

“She shot this girl in cold blood,” Rothschild told jurors. “She meant to shoot her. She meant to kill her. What this victim is guilty of was bringing a pink cellphone to a gunfight.”

But defense attorney Amy Ihrig said her client acted in self-defense from an intruder on her property and “lawfully defended herself” when she shot Lorraine Manuel, 27, on June 4, 2015.

Corley pleaded not guilty to malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony in the shooting of Manuel at a rental property. The victim, who was shot once below her eye with a .38-caliber revolver, died several days later at Memorial University Medical Center.

The shooting occurred after Manuel went to the property to retrieve rental application documents for the $950-a-month property. The documents contained Social Security numbers and personal information for Manuel and her fiance, Marshall Franklin, after Corley rejected their application.

Franklin testified the victim thought Corley was a “con artist” and wanted out of the agreement.

Rothschild contended that Corley killed Manuel in a “petty rent dispute.”

Ihrig argued Corley was frightened by the victim who she said forced her way into Corley’s property, justifying her use of force.

Corley was heard on a 911 call telling an operator she had an applicant who she had rejected who had threatened her, referring to a male, and wanted police there. When Manuel showed up alone, Corley refused to return the document immediately and a confrontation between the women ensued at the front door. A gunshot rang out shortly afterward.

Corley was then heard calling police to report a woman had been shot and admitting she had done it with a gun still in her hand, testimony showed.

Rothschild told jurors that, “One person in this confrontation is looking for a fight (Corley). The other (Manuel) is looking for a paper.”

“These people (Manuel and her fiance) aren’t thugs,” he told jurors. “These aren’t violent people.(Corley) is cool, calm and collected after she shot somebody.

“She’s not sorry. She doesn’t care. It’s just a nuisance for her to have this trial.”

But Ihrig argued Corley found herself in the house with Manuel, an intruder, in what she considered to be a threatening situation.

“She did not know what was happening. She expected a guy. Ms. Corley shot her because she had to.”


Information from: Savannah Morning News, https://www.savannahnow.com

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