High court upholds Grant murder conviction

Published 2:00 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

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The Georgia Supreme Court announced today that it has upheld the murder conviction of Varocus Antonio Grant for the shooting death of Travis Shivers on October 1, 2011 at the Holsey Cobb Village apartments in Cordele.

Grant was sentenced in late 2012 to a life sentence for malice murder plus five years to run consecutively for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He had requested a retrial, which led to the ruling the Court issued today denying that request.

According to that ruling, on the evening of October 1, 2011, Grant, along with an unknown man, attacked, shot, and killed Travis Shivers. On the night of the murder, various witnesses placed Grant and an unknown man near the Holsey Cobb Village apartments (“the Village”), where the shooting occurred. Grant was wearing a hat and a dark hooded sweatshirt, and appeared angry.

That night, Jasmine Paul (Shivers’s cousin) and Kaleesha Ross heard gunshots coming from the Village. Ross fled towards the nearest store while Paul ran towards the Village. As Paul approached the scene of the crime, she recognized Shivers’s voice calling out that he had been shot.

Paul then saw Grant shoot Shivers several times while an unknown man continually pushed and kicked Shivers to the ground. Grant and the unidentified man fled the scene, and Paul called for help.

The next morning, Grant voluntarily appeared at the police station, was informed of his rights, waived them, and agreed to talk to the police. During the interview, Grant’s statements placed him at the scene of the crime. The night before, investigators recovered a can of Mountain Dew and a blue Dallas Cowboys hat near the victim. Grant acknowledged that he both lost a hat and dropped a can of Mountain Dew near the scene.

In his request for a new trial, Grant did not contest the evidence presented at the trial that led to his conviction. He argued instead that he was denied a fair trial based on matters relating to jury selection, to ineffective trial counsel, and other issues. The State Supreme Court disagreed.