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  1. #1
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    Joshua Drucker - Georgia Death Row




    The death penalty case for Joshua Drucker, which had been scheduled to start Monday in Cobb County, has been postponed.

    Cobb County District Attorney Patrick Head said Friday that the judge granted a continuance request made by the Drucker's lawyer this week because one of the defense experts was not prepared for trial. A new trial date has not been set.

    Drucker, 32, is charged with murder for allegedly gunning down a Marietta man and his Bulgarian girlfriend in a meth-fueled rage in 2004.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/drucker...se-966423.html

  2. #2
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    Drucker death penalty case to begin

    Joshua Drucker is slated to stand trial on murder charges this week in Cobb County, seven years after he allegedly gunned down a Marietta man and his Bulgarian girlfriend in a meth-fueled rage.

    If convicted, Drucker, 33, of McDonough could face the death penalty. Police say he gunned down David Andrew Robertson, 40, and Lora Nikolova, 25, after a brief quarrel in the kitchen of Robertson's house on April 5, 2004.

    The first task for defense attorneys and prosecutors is to pare down a pool of about 130 potential jurors to a panel of 12 jurors and three alternates, a process that is expected to take about two weeks.

    Drucker's father, the Rev. Doug Drucker, is expected to be a key witness in the case. The elder Drucker, a minister, reported the slayings to police after his son allegedly confessed to killing two people.

    A co-defendant, Melissa Suzanne McCrayer, has cooperated with authorities and is also expected to testify against Drucker.

    McCrayer has told prosecutors that she and Drucker used methamphetamine and drank alcoholic beverages before going to visit the victims, who were friends. When Drucker asked Robinson for methamphetamine, he allegedly became angry when Robinson offered only marijuana.

    McCrayer said she heard a loud noise and turned to see Robinson crumple to the floor with a gunshot wound. Drucker shot Nikolova when she screamed and began hitting him, according to McCrayer's prior testimony in preliminary hearings.

    McCrayer said she and Drucker fled with Robinson's gold necklace, cellphone and wallet and went on a 36-hour meth binge that included trips to a Mexican restaurant, a motel room in Sandy Springs and an Atlanta strip club before they were caught.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/drucker...e-1165921.html

  3. #3
    absolutely ridiculous it takes this long to bring these cases to trial in Georgia. This has to be one of many reasons why the D.A's often opt for the plea agreement with the defendants. Georgia's death penalty system is a mess.

  4. #4
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    Trial begins for accused Cobb killer Joshua Drucker

    Jurors saw graphic images of the bloody crime scene where two people were found dead as the trial began Wednesday for the man accused in the 2004 double homicide.

    If convicted in Cobb County Superior Court, Joshua Drucker, 33, of McDonough could face the death penalty. Drucker is accused in the April 2004 shooting deaths of David Andrew Robertson, 40, and Lora Nikolova, 25.

    Robertson and Nikolova were found dead in Robertson's home. Prosecutors allege that Drucker shot the pair after a quarrel.

    Drucker's father, the Rev. Doug Drucker, is expected to be a key witness in the case. The elder Drucker reported the slayings to police after his son allegedly confessed to killing two people.

    A co-defendant, Melissa Suzanne McCrayer, has cooperated with authorities and is also expected to testify against Drucker.

    McCrayer has told prosecutors that she and Drucker used methamphetamine and drank alcoholic beverages before going to visit the victims, who were friends. When Drucker asked Robertson for methamphetamine, he allegedly became angry after Robinson offered only marijuana.

    McCrayer said she heard a loud noise and turned to see Robertson crumple to the floor with a gunshot wound. Drucker shot Nikolova when she screamed and began hitting him, according to McCrayer's prior testimony in preliminary hearings.

    McCrayer said she and Drucker fled with Robertson's gold necklace, cellphone and wallet and went on a 36-hour meth binge that included trips to a Mexican restaurant, a motel room in Sandy Springs and an Atlanta strip club before they were caught.

    Henry County police Maj. Jason Bolton, the first of two witnesses to take the stand Wednesday in Judge Robert Flournoy's courtroom, testified that Drucker told his father he had killed someone. The father contacted Henry police, who in turn notified Cobb police, Bolton said.

  5. #5
    I'm very surprised we're actually seeing a death penalty case proceed to trial here in Georgia. Georgia is known to have a large backlog of death penalty elegible cases but almost none never make it to trial.

  6. #6
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    Friend testifies in death penalty case

    A former friend of Joshua Drucker testified Monday she witnessed him gun down two acquaintances in the most emotional day thus far of his Cobb County death penalty trial.

    Melissa McCrayer, a co-defendant in the case and one of the prosecution's star witnesses, allegedly witnessed Drucker shooting David Andrew Robertson, 40, and Lora Nikolova, 25, after accompanying Drucker to Robertson's home on April 5, 2004.

    Dressed in a gray dress and black cardigan, her blonde curly hair pulled back with a wide black headband, McCrayer grew emotional as soon as Senior Assistant District Attorney Ann Harris flashed portraits of the victims.

    McCrayer told jurors that she went with Drucker to Robertson's house near Marietta to get drugs. Just 20 at the time, she was also an admitted drug addict who worked as a stripper and said she hung out with Drucker almost "all day, every day."

    She testified they sat for a few minutes with Robertson and his girlfriend, Nikolova, at the kitchen table. Then, Drucker asked Robertson for marijuana.

    McCrayer testified that the two men stood and walked out of her field of vision and then she heard a gunshot. She turned in time to see Robertson crumple to the ground.

    Nikolova then jumped up from her chair and ran to Drucker, hitting him with her fists and screaming, "No, no, no, you killed him!" McCrayer said.

    "And then he shot Laura," McCrayer said tearfully. "She fell on all fours. She was on her knees spitting blood. She was wiping her mouth. I ran out of the room."

    Nikolova, a student from Bulgaria, met and fell in love with Robertson after she came to Atlanta on a short-term work visa. She was staying with him at the time of the slayings.

    A Bulgarian interpreter whispered a translation of McCrayer's testimony into Nikolova's father's ear as he sat in the courtroom and wept at the description of his daughter's death.

    Drucker admitted to the killings in a videotaped confession to police. He told detectives he wanted revenge against Robertson for providing his sister with drugs that she subsequently overdosed on, causing her severe brain damage.

    However, Drucker has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney, Jimmy Berry, said he wants to avoid the death penalty and make the state prove its case.

    Drucker was stoic but alert throughout McCrayer's testimony.

    After the shootings, the pair took jewelry, cell phones and Robertson's wallet, McCrayer said. After buying marijuana from a friend, the couple went to two strip clubs. McCrayer couldn't get in because she was underage, so she took a taxi back to a motel.

    She said when Drucker returned the following morning, he told her he spent $1,500 at the Pink Pony strip club. He also thought the bodies wouldn't be discovered for at least a month, McCrayer said. However, police arrested the pair at the motel less than two days after the shootings.

    When prosecutors asked why she never left or called the police, McCrayer said it was because she was scared.

    "I didn't want him to hurt me," she testified.

    McCrayer said she went through drug treatment after the slayings, graduated college and is now attending nursing school. The defense team is expected to cross-examine her Tuesday.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/friend-...h-1193747.html

  7. #7
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    Waitress testifies death penalty defendant threatened her

    A waitress at the Pink Pony strip club where a death penalty defendant went after he allegedly shot two people testified Friday that he threatened to kill her when she wouldn't drink shots with him.

    Cobb County Sheriff's Office, Cobb County Sheriff's Office Joshua Kevin Drucker, 33, could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.

    The waitress, Jennifer Carlton, testified in the Cobb County trial of Joshua Drucker, 33, of McDonough, that Drucker was known to the girls in the strip club as "the money thrower" because he threw $1 bills around on a prior visit. She said when he came into the club in April 2004, he bought her entire tray of 44 shots for $220 so that she could talk to him for an hour.

    "He was cocky," Carlton recalled on the stand. "It was like he was kind of happy, but not really. It was like he was trying to impress me."

    Prosecutors say Drucker's encounter with Carlton happened just a few hours after he gunned down an acquaintance, David Andrew Robertson, 40, and Lora Nikolova, 25, in the kitchen of Robertson's home.

    Carlton testified that Drucker began to confide problems his family had been experiencing, including a sister who tried to kill herself by overdosing on drugs because she was depressed about the recent death of her infant child. She said Drucker told her that his sister was "a vegetable" in the hospital. He said the guy who had sold her the drugs deserved to die, and asked the waitress if she agreed.

    "I said, ‘No, it's not his fault that his sister OD'd,'" Carlton testified, recounting the conversation. "I said, ‘If he knew she was going to overdose, he probably wouldn't have sold her the drugs.' "

    Drucker told police in a videotaped confession that was screened for jurors on Thursday that he had killed Robertson as part of a personal vendetta because Robertson gave his sister a potentially deadly cocktail of drugs. He allegedly shot Nikolova when she yelled at him and tried to intervene.

    At some point during their discussion, the waitress said Drucker also confided that he was a pastor's son and expressed doubts about the existence of God because of everything bad that had happened to his family.

    Then he told her he was a drug dealer and offered her methamphetamine, Carlton said. He also urged her to drink some of the shots he had purchased from her, but Carlton said she declined. That's when the waitress said Drucker flew into a rage, grabbed her arm and threatened to kill her. He got kicked out of the club.

    "I couldn't believe it. It was like the guy was crazy," Carlton said. "You could see the look in his eyes. It was crazy. Just for not drinking shots."

    Police said they arrested Drucker and his female friend and co-defendant, Melissa McCrayer, at the end of a 36-hour meth binge that included trips to a Mexican restaurant, a motel room in Sandy Springs and two Atlanta strip clubs.


    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/waitres...y-1192251.html

  8. #8
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    June 6, 2011

    Bulgarian Girl Murder Trial Kicks Off In US

    Joshua Kevin Drucker and Melissa Suzanne McCrayer have been arrested for the slaying of Bulgarian Lora Nikolova and her US boyfriend David Robertson. The Court in Cobb County, Georgia, US, begins Monday the trial against Joshua Kevin Drucker, accused of the murder of Bulgarian, Lora Nikolova.

    The news was reported by the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington DC, cited by Eurochicago.com, the largest media in Bulgarian in America.

    Bulgarian Lora Nikolova, 25, and her American boyfriend, David Andrew Robertson, 40, were found dead in Robertson's home in a suburb of Atlanta in April 2004.

    Joshua Kevin Drucker, 25, of McDonough was charged with felony murder and credit card fraud. Melissa Suzanne McCrayer, 20, of Roswell was charged with murder, robbery and accessory to a crime.

    Nikolova, a Sofia resident, arrived in Atlanta in July 2003, after joining a students' summer work program. She had a job as a swimming pool lifeguard and after meeting Robertson decided to settle in the US.

    On the evening of April 5, 2004, Drucker and McCrayer, both said to have been drug addicts, went to Robertson home. They have known each other for years, but in the last months Druker's drug problems increased; he asked non-stop for money, and was not welcome in the house, the Bulgarian 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily writes.

    According to McCrayer's testimony, Robertson invited them in, while Lora had been in her bedroom. The young woman had no idea her boyfriend was armed and had intentions to kill. The two, however, knew Robertson had withdrawn from his bank account USD 30 000 for a trip to Bulgaria and possibly a wedding. Drucker shot him in the back while he was walking to the kitchen. Upon hearing the shot, Lora came running from the bedroom and was shot in the neck. The two perpetrators left in one of Robertson's cars, after searching the house and taking all credit cards, leaving her on the floor, still alive.

    They booked a motel room, but later decided to return to look for more valuables. They found Lora alive and Drucker shot her in the head. They came back a total of three times, taking everything, including Lora's diamond ring and her cheap cell phone.

    Lora's brother, who also lived in the US, was called to identify the body.

    After 7 years of Lora's family waiting, Druker is finally to face the Court. Georgia still has the dead penalty, but according to reports, the girl's family wants life without parole for Druker. [not confirmed as true]

    Even before the murder, the young man had a long rap sheet, including robberies and drug possession, but it is said that the influence of his father – a pastor, helped him get away only with probation.

    "The father of the killer is prominent in Atlanta. They are wealthy and hired a number of different lawyers," Lora's father, Nikola Nikolov, is quoted saying.

    The family has filed an application with the Human Rights Committee at the Bulgarian Parliament, asking for assistance, similar to the one in the murder case of Simeon Popov, a Bulgarian student gunned down in 2002 in NY State while delivering pizza.

    In Popov's case, an employee of the Bulgarian Embassy had accompanied the young man's family, helping them with accommodations, interpreting and transport during the trial.

    Nikolovi say Bulgarian authorities in the country and in the US are yet to respond to their plea, 24 Hours writes.

    http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=129000

  9. #9
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    Trial begins for accused Cobb killer Joshua Drucker

    By Alexis Stevens
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Jurors saw graphic images of the bloody crime scene where two people were found dead as the trial began Wednesday for the man accused in the 2004 double homicide.

    Cobb County Sheriff's Office Joshua Kevin Drucker, 33, could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.
    If convicted in Cobb County Superior Court, Joshua Drucker, 33, of McDonough, could face the death penalty. Drucker is accused in the April 2004 shooting deaths of David Andrew Robertson, 40, and Lora Nikolova, 25.

    Robertson and Nikolova were found dead in Robertson's home near Marietta. Prosecutors allege that Drucker shot the pair after a quarrel.

    Drucker's father, the Rev. Doug Drucker, is expected to be a key witness in the case. The elder Drucker reported the homicide to police the night of April 6, 2004.

    A co-defendant, Melissa Suzanne McCrayer, has cooperated with authorities and is also expected to testify against Drucker.

    Defense attorneys have previously said that Doug Drucker violated his "clergyman's privilege" by reporting the crime to police. In March 2009, the father testified that his son said, "Dad, I killed somebody." The two then prayed together before the younger Drucker left.

    McCrayer has told prosecutors that she and Drucker used methamphetamine and drank alcoholic beverages before going to visit the victims, who were friends. When Drucker asked Robertson for methamphetamine, he allegedly became angry after Robertson offered only marijuana.

    McCrayer said she heard a loud noise and turned to see Robertson crumple to the floor with a gunshot wound. Drucker shot Nikolova when she screamed and began hitting him, according to McCrayer's prior testimony in preliminary hearings.

    McCrayer said she and Drucker fled with Robertson's gold necklace, cellphone and wallet and went on a 36-hour meth binge that included trips to a Mexican restaurant, a motel room in Sandy Springs and an Atlanta strip club before they were caught.

    Henry County police Maj. Jason Bolton, the first witness to take the stand Wednesday in Judge Robert Flournoy's courtroom, testified that Drucker told his father he had killed someone. The father contacted Henry police, who in turn notified Cobb police, Bolton said.

    Cobb County police officers went to Robertson's home, expecting to find the deceased man, Detective Chris Twiggs with Cobb County police testified. Instead, he spotted a pool of blood next to a woman's body, he said.

    “At that point, we didn’t know how many victims we may or may not have," Twiggs said. "And we didn’t know where the suspect was.”

    Just a few feet away from the woman, later identified as Nikolova, police found Robertson's body, Twiggs said. The first responding officers also found a shell casing and ammunition, he said.

    “Both had a significant amount of blood, and both were deceased," Twiggs said.

    Joshua Drucker and McCrayer were taken into custody between 7 and 8 a.m. April 7, 2004, at the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road in Marietta.

    Drucker emerged from Room 119 of the hotel carrying a pistol and other items, which he dropped before surrendering to police, Sgt. Jason Best with Cobb County police testified Wednesday afternoon. Best had spotted two vehicles, reportedly seen at Robertson's home, parked behind the hotel.

    Among the items Drucker carried out of the hotel room was a blue bag containing personal items such as a watch, wallet and ammunition, Steven Gaynor, a Cobb police detective, told the jury. Inside the wallet, Gaynor said he found two Visa cards with Andrew Robertson's name.

    Also in the bag was a small digital scale -- "a small scale similar to that would be used in the drug trade" -- said Gaynor, who will return to the witness stand Thursday morning.

    The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/trial-b...d-1190668.html

  10. #10
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    Cobb death penalty for Drucker could be tougher sell, attorneys say

    The fate of Troy Anthony Davis weighed on Cobb County death penalty defendant Joshua Drucker as his trial neared.

    It remains to be seen whether it will weigh on the minds of jurors, too.

    Court-watchers say a backlash against the death penalty in Georgia could make it harder for prosecutors to get the ultimate punishment for Drucker if he is convicted. Drucker is on trial for the April 5, 2004, shootings of an acquaintance and his girlfriend.

    His attorneys hope to convince a jury Drucker doesn't deserve to die. But they don't know if Davis' case will help or hurt, if it affects jurors at all.

    "You never know," said defense attorney Jimmy Berry, who is representing Drucker and has handled about 50 other death penalty cases over his long career.

    "My opinion is that the death penalty is pretty archaic," Berry said. "We are the only civilized country that still has it."

    The Davis case garnered national media attention when he was executed Sept. 21 for the 1989 murder of Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Prosecutors expressed faith in the guilty verdict, but Davis supporters pointed to a number of witnesses who recanted their trial testimony to bolster their claim that he had been wrongly convicted.

    In the dramatic moments before he received the lethal injection, Davis proclaimed his innocence one last time from the death chamber gurney.

    Jury selection in the Drucker case was in its second week when Davis was executed. Two potential jurors brought up the controversy. One said they were "a little more concerned about the death penalty now and whether it was appropriate," Berry said. Neither of those jurors was ultimately picked for the jury.

    Thomas Clegg has been on both sides of a death penalty trial as a former DeKalb County prosecutor and as a defense attorney. He said he would not be surprised if Davis' case affects some jurors.

    "If there was any sort of doubt in my mind, even if it didn't rise to a level of reasonable doubt, I would not vote and I don't think most jurors would want to vote for it," Clegg said. "I would think a lot of jurors have a bad feeling in their mouth about the death penalty. I know I do."

    Jerry Word, who heads the Georgia Capital Defender Office, also believes the Drucker jury could be impacted by Davis' execution.

    "It makes jurors realize that we do execute people, and sometimes the evidence can be questioned even after someone is found guilty," Word said.

    Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said he has no hesitation about seeking the death penalty if the facts of the case warrant it. Drucker's case qualified because it was a double homicide and because it was excessively cruel and inhuman, Head said.

    During the trial, which began Sept. 28 and is expected to last about a month, jurors have seen gruesome crime scene photographs of David Andrew Robertson, 40, and his girlfriend, Lora Nikolova, 25. The pair were found shot to death in Robertson's home near Marietta.

    Drucker, 33, once served as a youth minister at the church his father formerly pastored, Gospel Outreach Church in Stockbridge.

    Drucker allegedly became addicted to methamphetamine, and he spent several several years in and out of prison for first-degree forgery and an assault on a girlfriend.

    He is accused of shooting Robertson after telling a friend, Melissa McCrayer, that they were going to Robertson's house to buy drugs.

    McCrayer cried on the witness stand this week when she described the slayings. She said Drucker turned his gun on Nikolova when she started hitting at him and shouting, "you killed him, you killed him."

    Nikolova was on all fours, spitting up blood, when Drucker allegedly dispatched her with a final, fatal gunshot wound to the head.

    Drucker told detectives in a videotaped confession that he killed Robertson because he had given Drucker's sister drugs that caused her to overdose in February 2003. She suffered severe brain damage and is now confined to a wheelchair.

    Head said he is confident the jury will convict Drucker.

    "There is no doubt whatsoever that he committed the crime," Head said.

    Cobb County residents are considered primarily conservative, which has helped Head's office obtain the death penalty three times since he became district attorney in 1998.

    Andrew Grant DeYoung was the most recent defendant from Cobb to be put to death, for murdering his parents and his 14-year-old sister in 1993. He was executed in July.

    In July 2008 Lawrence Rice was the last person to be convicted in a death penalty case in Cobb. Eight people on death row in Georgia were convicted in Cobb.

    The district attorney said it would be a shame if jurors opted not to vote for the death penalty in Drucker's case because of Davis.

    Head said he read the 102-page order issued by the federal judge in Davis' appeal, and it was clear to him the judge had "no doubt whatsoever" about Davis' guilt.

    "The people who have pushed the Troy Davis case really didn't know a thing about it," Head said. "They just know what they've been told."

    Drucker operates an Internet ministry from jail with the help of his fiancee. He writes sermons posted on his website, TodayChristianMinistries.org.

    In a sermon dated July 18, Drucker drew a parallel between Davis and the Biblical figure of Joseph, who was sold into slavery and wrongly imprisoned before he rose to become one of the most powerful men in Egypt. Joseph was also known to interpret dreams. Drucker said Davis must have been kept alive by his dreams. He exhorted readers to keep dreaming.

    Drucker's sermons have never discussed what ultimately happened to Davis. But he ended that sermon by reflecting on his then upcoming trial:

    "As I pen these words, I myself am facing an IMPOSSIBLE situation," Drucker wrote. "I have been locked up since April of 2004 for double murder in Cobb County, Georgia. And I am waiting for a death penalty trial. And my lawyers (which are the best in this state) tell me daily that there is no way I'll ever be free. I refuse to accept."

    In his own words:

    Joshua Drucker writes sermons in prison that appear at TodayChristianMinistries.org. Some excerpts:

    About his hopes: "Everyday, I get out of the bed and hope for my freedom."

    Expressing disappointment in his trial being delayed from July to September: "Not only am I tired, but my family is tired as well. Tired of waiting, tired of all the legal meetings, and most of all tired of not knowing what will become of me and my future."

    About his decision to start an Internet ministry after he said God spoke to him: "I thought to myself, ‘An Internet ministry? Why? How?' As my Spirit was rejoicing, my mind was yelling -- ‘You are crazy. You are in prison. No one is going to listen.' ... I then told God, ‘Lord, if this is your will, then I will leave it up to you to make it happen.'"

    His thoughts as his trial neared: "I am exactly 36 hours away from the biggest day of my life. As I pen these words, today is Saturday, Sept. 9, 2011. It is about 9 p.m., and I have just come back to my cell after watching college football for most of the day. I chose to watch football ALL DAY so that my mind would not be consumed with this trial. For the most part, it has helped. Today has been a good day."

    His thoughts on jury selection: "By the time you read this we should be finishing up the jury selection and set to make opening statements Wednesday morning. It has gone EXTREMELY SMOOTH so far and I am looking forward to better days ahead."

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/cobb-de...r-1195130.html

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