Death Penalty Trial of Georgia Millionaire Jim Sullivan

The death penalty trial of James Sullivan, a Georgia millionaire accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife 19 years ago, begins today. Court TV is airing it live.

On the day of a crucial hearing in her divorce, Atlanta socialite Lita Sullivan opened her door to a deliveryman who handed her a box of roses and fired a gunshot into her head. Almost 20 years later, her millionaire husband James Sullivan will stand trial for her murder.

Sullivan was previously acquitted of lesser related charges in a federal court, and then fled to Thailand from where he fought extradition for two years and ultimately was returned to the U.S. to stand trial on the murder charge.

Sullivan's defense lawyers are top-notch: Don Samuel and Ed Garland of Atlanta. Opening arguments are set for this afternoon. If you're by a tv and want to see good lawyering in a case involving everything from "wealth, greed and sex to class warfare, international intrigue and a fugitive on the run.", this is it.

Update: The jury was sworn in and Don Samuel gave his opening statement.

"Jim Sullivan did not murder his wife or hire anyone to murder his wife," Samuel told jurors in his opening statements. The last thing he wanted was for anyone to kill her, Samuel said, adding that his client had no reason to do it.

Samuel said his client has been the subject of rampant speculation over the years, but he asked jurors to see through it and acquit Sullivan. "There will not be a shred of physical evidence, not one shred of physical evidence that links Jim Sullivan to this crime," Samuel said.

He said all the state has is testimony of people who "even today we don't have a clue what they are going to say."

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    If he's rich, Im gonna assume newton's forgetten law of money in america that states: He who has cash, shall be aquitted.

    Re: Death Penalty Trial of Georgia Millionaire Jim (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:57:05 PM EST
    Freakin' millionaires...they even outsource their murder.

    Re: Death Penalty Trial of Georgia Millionaire Jim (none / 0) (#3)
    by Johnny on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:57:45 PM EST
    Slackers can't do their own wet-work.