Carlton Gary consents to DNA testing, requests a new attorney

Source: Mike Haskey/Ledger-Enquirer
Source: Mike Haskey/Ledger-Enquirer

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COLUMBUS, GA  (WTVM) – Convicted killer Carlton Gary was back in a Columbus courtroom Wednesday for a hearing about DNA testing.

"There was an issue as to whether the defendant even consented at the time or continued to consent to that. That was clarified today in the hearing. He does consent to the DNA testing, so we can begin that immediately," District Attorney Julia Slater said.

Afterward, there seemed to be more questions than answers regarding what happened before the hearing itself.

First, the hearing was slated to begin at 11:00 a.m., but didn't begin until after a two hour delay.

At 1:07 p.m., Gary entered Judge Frank Jordan's courtroom on the 10th floor of the Columbus Government Center.

The hearing lasted just six minutes.

Gary consented to the DNA testing of four pieces of evidence from the 1970's crime scenes.

"Let's go ahead and test it, see what we find out, then based on the results, we can look into any questions as to whether or not there's been any manipulation of the evidence. We need to go ahead and test first before we know whether or not there's anything to complain about," defense attorney Jack Martin said.

But News Leader Nine has learned much more was discussed behind closed doors.

According to Carlton Gary's wife Debra, Carlton Gary was made aware during the meeting with Judge Jordan and defense attorneys that if he did not consent to DNA testing, a death warrant would be issued by Judge Jordan and an execution date would be set by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

"They let him know if he did not consent today, that the death warrant had already been drawn up and Judge Jordan would sign it," Gary said.

Also, Gary filed for a change of attorney on Wednesday.

New attorneys will be appointed -- one of which is Columbus-native, Gary Parker.

At this point, the DNA will go to Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab in Atlanta for testing.

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