Man accused of killing girlfriend and son appears in court for case update

Man accused of killing girlfriend and son appears in court for case update

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A man accused of killing his girlfriend and infant son before setting their home on fire to cover it up was in court today for a status conference where the Muscogee County District Attorney and defense lawyers discussed several new motions.

Brandon Conner is accused of stabbing his girlfriend, who was also the mother of his child, Rosella Mitchell, as well as inflicting a violent injury on his 6-month-old son, Dylan Conner, back in August of 2014. He is also accused of setting fire to the home after the crime to cover up the cause of their deaths.

After Conner’s indictment in early 2015, Muscogee County District Attorney Julia Slater announced the state would be pursuing the death penalty in this case.

A status conference this morning allowed the District Attorney and the defense team to ask for several new motions.

One motion from defense attorneys Emily Gilbert and Brad Gardner is to prohibit the state from accessing data from two out of three cell phones claimed during the investigation.

“Of the three telephone downloads we received, there are two in issue," defense attorney Emily Gilbert said. "Those are two telephones seized from the scene of the fire that were not searched and not copied or, nothing was done with them until search warrants were obtained in January 25, 2019.”

“The defense requested we download the phones at that point, we did and we provided that to them and which we also kept a copy," assistant district attorney Don Kelly said. "But it was at their request that we downloaded them, so I think it puts us in a very different situation and we would certainly oppose any order saying we couldn’t use that information.”

The only phone not in question belongs to Brandon Conner, who signed a consent form to have his phone taken. The court will meet again Thursday, March 28 to argue this motion.

In the meantime, the next status conference is scheduled for May 9 in Judge William Rumer’s courtroom.

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