DNA Hearing Set for Stocking Strangler

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) –  The man known as the "Stocking Strangler" and convicted of killing three Columbus women in the 1970's will soon get the DNA hearing that his defense team fought for.

The DNA hearing for Carlton Gary is set for February 1, 2010 at 10:30am in Judge Robert Johnston's courtroom.

District Attorney, Julia Slater, tells Fox 54, she received a letter from Judge Johnston  outlining five issues he wanted to address in the upcoming hearing.  Slater says she has already begun research.

In the February hearing, the defense will seek DNA testing on evidence from the crime scenes.

On December 16, just hours before his scheduled death, the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled in favor of a motion granting Gary's defense team a hearing before the Muscogee County Superior Court.
Gary was convicted in the mid-80s for the deaths of three elderly women in Columbus.

The women were raped, then strangled with their own stockings between 1977 and 1978 – an eight month period. Their deaths were 3 of 7 slayings that terrified Columbus.

The crimes remained unsolved until 1984 when a pistol stolen from a home in the Wynnton area in October 1977 was linked to Carlton Gary. Gary was arrested on May 3, 1984, for this burglary.

He confessed that he was present at the burglary and that he was either present at, or had knowledge of, eight of the nine Wynnton area rapes and murders.

Gary admitted to burglarizing the women's homes, however, he claimed that another individual committed the rapes and murders.

Authorities found no corroborating evidence linking that individual to the crimes.

Gary's fingerprints were ultimately found to match fingerprints at four of the crime scenes. 

On August 26, 1986, Gary was found guilty of raping, murdering and burglarizing the homes of Ruth Schieble, Martha Thurmond and Kathleen Woodruff, three of the nine victims. 

Gary's attorneys say no evidence in the strangling deaths had been subjected to DNA testing since it wasn't available when he was convicted.