Ga. Supreme Court reinstates life sentence in Gwinnett case

ATLANTA -- On Monday the Georgia Supreme Court reinstated a man's life sentence for the kidnapping charges he was convicted on in Gwinnett County nearly a decade ago.

A Gwinnett County jury convicted Victor Hardeman in 2003 on charges of kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated battery, false imprisonment, criminal attempt to commit robbery and burglary. According to the case, Hardeman and two accomplices forced their way into the victim's home in Nov. 2001, taping her hands and face and "threatening to torture and kill the victim" before forcing her into a laundry room and beating her.

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned the 2010 decision reached after Hardeman filed a writ of habeas corpus to challenge the life sentence issue for his kidnapping with bodily injury charge. The habeas judge agreed with Hardeman's argument that the four legal factors to determine "asportation," or forced movement of another person, were not met.

The habeas court set aside the life sentence for Hardeman, who was also facing 30 more years of incarceration on other charges.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham did not agree with the decision and reinstated the life sentence. Benham argued that "moving the victim to a more confined space like an upstairs laundry room served to give the perpetrators more control over the victim."