Ramad Chatman was found not guilty after standing trial for an armed robbery at a Georgia convenience store, but will still spend 10 years in prison.
In 2014, the Lucky Lotto convenience store in Northern Georgia was robbed as an assailant held the clerk at gunpoint.
A dirty storefront and grainy video footage made it virtually impossible to establish any link to the actual robber.
All that witnesses could give investigators was that the attacker was “a black man in dark clothes.”
Sometime in 2015, after scrolling the Facebook, the clerk saw a photo of Ramad Chatman.
“It triggered something in me, and it just made me freak out,” she said of the photo.
Chatman, already on probation following his connection to a previous robbery, soon turned himself in on the pretense of ruling himself out of the investigation, as he professed his innocence.
He was put on trial.
Initially, Chatman attempted to enter an Alford plea deal where the defendant enters a guilty plea, but maintains their innocence because despite this, they feel they will lose at trial.
The judge presiding over the case refused the deal.
By the end of the trial the jury found Chatman not guilty of the charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault, however Judge John Niedrach had a differing opinion.
While the prosecution failed to convince the jury that Chatman committed the crime and there was never any concrete evidence outside of the clerk’s testimony that connected Chatman to the crime, Judge Niedrach was convinced that his implication was likely.
As a result, Chatman’s probation for a 2012 robbery in which a $120 television was stolen was revoked, and he is now serving a 10-year sentence for the original crime.
“Someone is suffering the consequence of this and it might be the wrong person,” said Mark Issa, attorney and legal analyst. “In fact, 12 jurors did not believe it was the right person.”
Had he never been arrested for the Lucky Lotto robbery, Ramad Chatman’s 5-year probation would have been complete in July.