With 2 murder convictions overturned, New Jersey man gets new chance at freedom

Editor's Note: FOX 5 Atlanta reporter Aungelique Proctor sat down with Alan Dennis, a New Jersey man who was convicted of murder twice in Georgia. Both convictions have since been overturned. Ahead of a new trial, Dennis' recalled the events that took place at a Union City gas station back in 2013 in his own words.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – A New Jersey man convicted of murder twice, who has also had his convictions overturned twice, hopes to be released from the Fulton County Jail soon.

His story is especially unusual because two separate judges have thrown Alan Dennis' Georgia murder convictions out and ordered a new trial.

Alan Dennis told Proctor he was visiting his family back in 2013 when he came across two brothers at a Union City gas station.

Alan Dennis

He said one of them, Michael Henderson, stared at him before exchanging "words" with him about his loud music.

Dennis claimed Henderson pulled out a gun, causing Dennis to fire his own weapon in self-defense.

"I was involved in a justified shooting. My prayers go out to the deceased's family," Dennis told Proctor in an interview at Fulton County Jail.

"Did you believe your life was being threatened?" Proctor asked.

"Yes ma'am," Dennis said.

Dennis was arrested and charged with murder, although he claimed self-defense.

"You saw a gun?" Proctor asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Dennis said.

"You saw a gun, and that's why you pulled out your gun?" she asked for clarity.

"Yes, ma'am," Dennis repeated.

He said during both of his trials, one in 2016 and the other in 2019, both of his attorneys were ill-prepared.

"He didn't have enough time. According to him, he just wasn't prepared," Dennis complained. "He did nothing for the case, as far as any witnesses, he did nothing at all."

In an almost unprecedented situation, two different judges agreed with Dennis and overturned his murder convictions.

His new attorney is expected to subpoena two Union City Police officers who said they could back up his self-defense claims.

Alan Dennis and defense attorney Nicole Fegan.

"In the second trial, they didn't subpoena the officer who, in his affidavit, indicated Henderson was actually committing aggravated assault," Dennis' new defense attorney Nicole Fegan affirmed. "So now, there's a forcible felony involved."

"How does the officer know that?" Proctor asked.

"He put it in the affidavit because he said he received it from witnesses. He found weapons in the deceased's car," Dennis explained.

Dennis said he would be requesting bond on May 1. He said he expects a favorable outcome.