Murdered Alabama preacher trail hangs in the balance after pre-t - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Murdered Alabama preacher trial hangs in the balance after pre-trial motions halt proceedings

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Uptown Columbus previews fall event series

    Uptown Columbus previews fall event series

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-20 04:56:08 GMT
    There will be plenty to do in Uptown Columbus this fall. Uptown Columbus announced their fall event series on Tuesday. Some events will be coming back this season, such as "Blues, Brew And Q," the popular
    More >>
    There will be plenty to do in Uptown Columbus this fall. Uptown Columbus announced their fall event series on Tuesday. Some events will be coming back this season, such as "Blues, Brew And Q," the popular concert series and the continuation of Saturday Market Days. More >>
  • New deputy coroner for Muscogee County

    New deputy coroner for Muscogee County

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 04:38:04 GMT
    Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan has announced a new member of his team. Trev Fuller was sworn in at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, as a Muscogee County Deputy Coroner. The addition of Fuller bringsMore >>
    Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan has announced a new member of his team. Trev Fuller was sworn in at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, as a Muscogee County Deputy Coroner. The addition of Fuller bringsMore >>
  • Examining race relations in Columbus

    Examining race relations in Columbus

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:34 AM EDT2014-08-20 04:34:03 GMT
    The Missouri crisis is rekindling a debate in America: race relations between blacks and the men and women in blue. News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles hit the streets to find out how African American men in
    More >>
    The Missouri crisis is rekindling a debate in America: race relations between blacks and the men and women in blue. News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles hit the streets to find out how African American men in this community see the issue. More >>
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The family of an East Alabama preacher who was found shot to death under a Columbus bridge waited more than two years for justice; after the first day of the trial, they may have to wait even longer.

The five people accused of fatally shooting Reverend Blanchard Thomas headed to trial Monday. 

As of Monday evening there was no jury selected, we didn't hear any opening statements or testimony. The trial was delayed by a pre-trial motion for recusal of the chief prosecutor due to a conflict of interest.

Defendant Jody Perry's attorney Stacey Jackson argued assistant district attorney Al Whitaker and the entire District Attorney's office should be disqualified from trying the case.

Jackson argued Whitaker previously represented Perry in juvenile court and again in 2006. Jackson said Whitaker representing Perry in the past made him privy to Perry's information and that could compromise Perry's defense.

Judge Rumer agreed with part of Jackson's argument by disqualifying Whitaker but not the entire DA's office.

Although the decision was partly in Jackson's favor, both the defense and the state are challenging Judge Rumor's decision.

If Judge Rumer and counsel can't come to a consensus, the decision will be handed over to the Supreme Court to decide; which could take months.

Meanwhile, the number of defendants continued to dwindle; only three of the suspects appeared in court Monday.

Perry, Donnie Forte, and Joel Thomas are three out of the five defendants that did not accept plea deals with the state.

The other two, Keedra Brummitt and Michael Ingram agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for plea deals.

Court is scheduled to resume Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.