"Stocking Strangler" motions denied, execution nears - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

"Stocking Strangler" motions denied, execution nears

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Judge Robert Johnston denied two motions on Wednesday filed by Carlton Gary's defense attorneys this week, one of which asked for a stay of execution.

In the first order, the defense argued for a recusal of the court and a disclosure of any circumstances that would provide any illicit bias in its rulings in the case.

Judge Johnston found, "no valid basis warranting the recusal of the court."

In the second order, Judge Johnston denied the defendant's motion which requested DNA testing of materials, and a hearing regarding the motion.

The motion was denied because Judge Johnston ruled the defense had "viewed the material at issue in 2001 and failed to request a DNA test until four days after an execution order in this case in December of 2009."

The order continues, "this court specifically finds that this Motion was filed for the purposes of delay.  Therefore, this Court finds that both the motion for the [DNA] testing and the request for a hearing on the motion are hereby denied."

Judge Johnston also re-examined evidence presented during Carlton Gary's trial and found no "reasonable probability" that the DNA evidence would have led to an acquittal.

Finally, in the second order, Judge Johnston denied any further delay to Gary's execution, "as Defendant has had 23 years in which his convictions and death sentences have been reviewed by various state and federal courts."

The final lines of the second order read, "Therefore, Defendant's motion for a stay of execution is hereby denied."

Gary is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.

Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington said Wednesday he will testify against Carlton Gary at an upcoming appeal before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

"For those of us that were involved in this case, we're relieved that it's finally coming to an end," Wetherington said.

That hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Wetherington added he would not attend Gary's execution if the final appeal is denied.

The Mayor served as Columbus Chief of Police when Gary was arrested in 1984.

Click here to view the court orders.

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