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Linda Tucker, the mother of Nikia Gilbreath, poses at her home in Rocky Face, Ga., holding a piece of pottery made by her daughter. Gilbreath was 23 years old when Jamie Ray Ward kidnapped and murdered her, and he was convicted in 1991.
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Nikia Kay Gilbreath

James Ray Ward was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole today.

Nearly 30 years ago, Ward kidnapped a pregnant woman, broke her ribs, stuffed wads of paper down her throat, suffocated her and dumped her body in the woods.

A jury convicted him of murder and feticide in 1991. 

The jury gave Ward the death penalty, but a federal court of appeals overturned that punishment in 2010 and sent the case back to Walker County for a new sentencing hearing.

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