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Court reinstates Gwinnett death sentence

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the death sentence against a man convicted of killing another man following a bank robbery.

A Gwinnett County jury had sentenced Michael Wade Nance to death for killing Gabor Balogh on Dec. 18, 1993, after Nance robbed the Tucker Federal Bank in Lilburn.

Nance left the bank in a stolen car that he had to abandon after packets placed with the stolen money exploded, emitting red dye and tear gas. He ran across Indian Trail Road and confronted Balogh, who had just walked out of a liquor store. Nance shot Balogh in the left elbow and the bullet ricocheted into his chest.

Nance eventually surrendered after a standoff with police.

A lower-court judge had upheld Nance’s convictions but threw out his death sentence on grounds Nance’s lawyers were ineffective during the sentencing phase of the trial. But on Monday, in an opinion authored by Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, the court overturned that decision and reinstated Nance’s death sentence.