COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The retrial hearing in the so-called Stocking Strangler case of convicted killer and rapist Carlton Gary dating back to the 1970s is underway in Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan's courtroom in Columbus.
Both sides spent most of Monday morning hammering out motions on admissible evidence that it felt would not be appropriate or should be allowed in the hearing.
Defense Attorney Jack Martin talked about what he calls "newly discovered evidence" pertaining to a bite mark mold taken from the breast of one of the seven elderly white women who were raped and strangled more than 30 years ago, an alleged false confession by victim Gertrude Miller and a shoe print captured at the home of another victim.
The judge ruled to allow the defense to present its evidence. Shortly after noon, the case proceeded with the defense calling its first witness. Attorney August Siemon of Atlanta told the court he never saw any pictures of footprints. Martin suggests there was a shoe impression found in case files years after the trial in 1986 but was never presented.
During cross examination, the state tried to show Siemon didn't show up for an appointment with the state, in which he would have had an opportunity to review the files. The second witness attorney was Jeffery Ertel, a federal defender of Atlanta who was assigned to the case during the State Habeas Corpus – a process used to review the lawfulness of a person's imprisonment.
Ertel stated he remembers the court's failure to provide expert assistance on the secretor status of Gary.
"I never saw anything like this during the trial," recalled Ertel.
The third witness, Attorney Greg Hampikian, Professor of Biology in Idaho, stated Carlton Gary's DNA did not match semen taken from clothing belonging to Gertrude Miller. Hampikian also said Gary's secretor status is inconsistent with the secretor status of vaginal wash from Martha Thurmond and Florence Scheible.
Hampikian is still on the stand. The state will cross examine him when the defense completes its questioning.