CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — It was a wild ending in the trial of a man accused of drugging a woman to death.
Channel 2 Action News has been following Douglas Christian's case for years and was in the courtroom Thursday as a jury returned its verdict in the killing of Makenzie Puyear.
Clayton County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Fowler said Christian killed the woman who turned to Backpage.com prostitution after becoming addicted to drugs.
Christian was found not guilty of murder Thursday, but received a maximum sentence of 40 years with 25 years to serve on three drug possession charges related to the case.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr was inside the courtroom when the case took a dramatic turn as Christian's defense attorney, Anastasios Manettas, didn't show up right away when learning the jury had come back with a verdict.
Manettas held up the process for an hour, explaining to the judge the he’d left the Clayton County courtroom to go to a bank on Atlanta’s west side.
“You are in contempt,” Judge Aaron Mason told Manettas. “For that you, can serve 48 hours in the Clayton County Jail. Purge yourself of that by paying $1,000 to this court by close of business tomorrow, Sept. 21. Failure to do that will result in the execution to serve 48 hours.
“Your honor, when can I serve that 48 hours?” Manettas asked the judge.
“You can do that right now. Take him,” Mason said.
Manettas was then taken into custody. His co-counsel told Carr the incident was done on principle and they plan to appeal Christian’s sentencing.
Cox Media Group