Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Conviction of 2 Floyd County Men Who Murdered Chattooga Store Clerk

Georgia’s Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of two Floyd County men who were convicted of murdering a Chattooga County store clerk in 2016.

Dylon Allen and Zaykives McCray were convicted in the shooting death of Chiragkumar Patel at The Melanie Inn convenience store on Hawkins Drive in Summerville.

Patel was shot in the abdomen and was hospitalized for fifty days before succumbing to his injuries.

At trial both men were convicted of murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault charges, among others, and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The Rome News-Tribune reported that Allen appealed his conviction, arguing the court admitted evidence from a prior robbery in 2014 and allowed McCray’s out of court statements to be used against him. McCray argued the court failed to ensure he understood that he could be present at bench conferences concerning his case.

In a ruling this week Georgia Supreme Court Justices said, ““We affirm Allen’s convictions because any errors in admitting evidence of a prior robbery and McCray’s out-of-court statements were harmless, even considered cumulatively,” the order stated. “We also affirm McCray’s convictions because the record shows that McCray elected not to attend bench conferences despite being told that he could, and the trial court was not required to order the court reporter to transcribe voir dire.”