The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled a Columbia County man, employed by Augusta Fire Department, will remain in prison for the 2019 murder of a 23-month-old child.

Charles Michael Sconyers, of Evans, was convicted in 2022 after investigators and experts say his girlfriend's son died of head injuries sustained at the hands of Sconyers. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Sconyers appealed his conviction, saying evidence presented in the case should not have been. The evidence in question includes statements from DCFS and a daycare worker who allege the toddler had two black eyes in the days leading to his death, a potential indicator of ongoing abuse.

Sconyers submits there was no proof he caused the child's black eyes. He and other witnesses say the child was a diagnosed sleepwalker who hurt his face after falling from his bed, resulting in one of the injuries, and that he fell near his highchair while in the care of another adult, resulting in the other. 

The Supreme Court rules in that argument "Sconyers's claims related to this testimony do not show that the court acted contrary to any controlling authority." This decision further states the evidence was not unfairly prejudicial to the case.

Sconyers also contends the trial court allowed hearsay statements to be admitted as evidence. Testimony by some of the child's mother's co-workers during the trial revealed alleged "arguing" and "jealousy issues" between the toddler and Sconyers. The child's mother testified she did not discuss personal matters at work.

According to the Supreme Court decision, those statements were testified and subject to cross-examination, and thus were not considered hearsay.

Sconyers further states his girlfriend, the mother of the victim, should have been allowed to enter testimony in his trial. While the woman was examined as a witness, her testimony was thrown out due to alleged bias, based on the nature of her relationship to the defendant and evidence presented by another witness. 

The Court determined that witness's statements did demonstrate bias in the mother's testimony.

All justices were in agreement on the decision to uphold Sconyers's conviction.

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