A week filled with twists and turns in Carlton Gary case

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - From the outside, it may sound like another twist to this ever-changing saga.

There's a new judge for the Carlton Gary case, a different legal mind.

When Judge Robert Johnston abruptly announced his departure from the Superior Court bench on Tuesday, many wondered, what does that mean for the case?

Not much, according to district attorney Julia Slater.

"Our judges have their own personalities, their own demeanor on the bench, however, when it comes to the ruling on facts of law, specifically the law, they are very consistent with each other," Slater said.

The new judge, Frank Jordan, Jr., will now oversee the proceedings.

Chief Judge of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit John Allen, who assigned Jordan to the case, says Johnston's impact will remain.

"Any orders that Judge Johnston has entered in the case, are still the law of the case, or rulings in the case. They have full force and effect of his order. They may be re-visited by the new judge," Allen said.

Carlton Gary is slated to be in Columbus for a DNA hearing in front of Judge Jordan on Monday.

But the change in judges for the case may not even be the biggest development this week.

Both Slater and Gary's defense attorney Jack Martin are discussing a consent agreement dealing with DNA testing.

If that agreement is reached before Monday, that hearing might never happen.

"I think that anytime you're trying to reach an agreement between two parties, you try to find things that the parties can agree upon and that's what we're working on, to find that common ground," Slater said.

When asked about a timetable for the agreement, all indications pointed to a long weekend for both sides of the case.

"It could be 11th hour, we were four hours away from the execution in December," Slater said.

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