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Watch now: Decatur man convicted of trying to kill cop fails in bid to win a new trial

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The Decatur Police Department has released a video of the June 18 police chase. Read more here:

DECATUR — Marcus D. Boykin, convicted of trying to murder a Decatur Police officer, failed in a bid Tuesday to win a new trial by arguing he had not been defended effectively by his lawyer.

Boykin had been due to be sentenced in Macon County Circuit Court on Tuesday but his attorney, Chris Amero, had not been able to meet with him after he filed a motion from his jail cell claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.

The 40-year-old Boykin is facing a minimum of 40 years and a maximum of some 80 years in prison when he is sentenced. He was convicted by a jury in February of the attempted murder of Officer Chris Snyder after he drove up to his parked squad car the night of June 18 and fired a shot from almost point blank range.

Defense attorney Chris Amero works to convince the jury that his client, Marcus D. Boykin, never intended to kill a police officer, but instead wanted to goad the cop into killing him. 

Amero had argued that Boykin had shot the gun, but insisted it was never the defendant’s intention to kill the officer, who had ducked and escaped injury. The attorney said Boykin was trying instead to commit suicide by cop by provoking the officer into shooting him.

Boykin, in his written motion, said the defense strategy had been all wrong. He argued that the jury was left with nowhere to go but find him guilty after being told “I did shoot at Snyder … how could they rule in any other way when trial counsel said I did as charged.”

The defendant also argued that prosecutors had failed to present any concrete evidence that “I fired a gun” at all.

Judge James Coryell, however, said Boykin was wrong on every point he raised. Coryell said he had listened to the evidence and Amero had never said the defendant had shot directly at the police officer.

Coryell said the defense argument was that a gun was fired, but Boykin never attempted to kill or injure Snyder. “... That was the thrust of his defense and that was his strategy,” Coryell said of Amero. “And that was the only strategy available to him, quite honestly.”

As for the prosecution’s lack of sufficient evidence, the judge reminded Boykin that there was no doubt a gun had been fired. “And you were apprehended with the gun in your hand and the shell casings found in the parking lot (where the shooting happened) and in your car came from the gun that was in your hand.

“The defendant’s claim of ineffective assistance is totally without merit …” the judge added.

Amero is now free to meet with Boykin to discuss representing him at the sentencing hearing, which was put back to April 8. Boykin is being held in custody at the Macon County Jail.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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