Defense for 'Stocking Strangler' wants new trial - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Text Description

Defense for 'Stocking Strangler' wants new trial

Posted: Updated:
Gary smiled at his wife as he walked into court Monday Gary smiled at his wife as he walked into court Monday
COLUMBUS, Ga. - Monday defense attorneys began their pursuit of a retrial for Carlton Gary, the man sentenced to death for killing women in their Columbus homes in the 1970's.

It has been 36 years since a serial killer struck fear into the hearts of many in Columbus. Carlton Gary was convicted of three of the stranglings in 1986, but now his defense team says they can prove he's innocent.

Gary walked into the courtroom blowing a kiss to his wife and daughter and smiling. Attorney Jack Martin spent hours working to convince Judge Frank Jordan to retry the case based on three main points:
  • A footprint left at one of the scenes that is a different size than Gary's
  • A bite mark found on one of the victims that the defense claims is not a forensic match to Gary
  • Contaminated DNA testing at the GBI crime lab
District Attorney Julia Slater argued that there was no truly new evidence, but Judge Jordan allowed the defense to present its witnesses, who included Dr. Greg Hampikian, a DNA expert who worked on the Amanda Knox trial, among many others. He said the testing done on the old seminal evidence was not analyzed with the most advanced technology, and that after retesting, two separate spots of semen found on the clothing of victim Gertrude Miller were not a genetic match to Carlton Gary.

Martin asked Hampikian, "To a reasonable degree of scientific certainty based on DNA, the individual who left sperm on Ms. Miller's clothing at the time of her rape was not Mr. Gary?"

"The sperm on the stains is not from Mr. Gary," Hampikian responded. "That's what I would say."

Dr. Hampikian also said that a new analysis of semen left on Martha Thurmond's body didn't match Gary either.

Gary's wife Debra is optimistic about getting a new trial. "It's a good thing," she says. "This is what we've wanted ever since they wrongly arrested, convicted my husband of it. All we wanted was to have a fair opportunity to present the truth."

She adds that her husband remains in good spirits despite the the decades behind bars. She says, "For him it's probably frustrating for him to sit up and hear somebody say things that you know are not true and not be able to say anything about it, but he's good."

Attorneys expect the hearing to last at least through Wednesday.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
More>>

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grandmother of boy tied up in Macy's bathroom speaks

    Grandmother of boy tied up in Macy's bathroom speaks

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:26:14 GMT
    The grandmother, whose face is concealed to protect child's identityThe grandmother, whose face is concealed to protect child's identity
    The family of an 8-year-old boy, who police say was tied up and assaulted in Peachtree Mall, pleading for the public's help after nearly two weeks with no arrest.
    The family of an 8-year-old boy, who police say was tied up and assaulted in Peachtree Mall, pleading for the public's help after nearly two weeks with no arrest.
  • Photos: Storms lead to flooding across Chattahoochee Valley

    Photos: Storms lead to flooding across Chattahoochee Valley

    Monday, April 7 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-07 22:37:01 GMT
    After heavy rain and thunderstorms rolled through the valley this morning, we can look for improving weather conditions this afternoon.
    After heavy rain and thunderstorms rolled through the valley this morning, we can look for improving weather conditions this afternoon.
  • Principal of Double Churches Middle School passes away

    Principal of Double Churches Middle School passes away

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:46:47 GMT
    The principal of Double Churches Middle School passed away Wednesday night. Chris Cox was appointed to the job in 2012.
    The principal of Double Churches Middle School passed away Wednesday night. Chris Cox was appointed to the job in 2012.
  • Crime WatchMore>>

  • Auburn woman shot in leg during domestic dispute

    Auburn woman shot in leg during domestic dispute

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:18:39 GMT
    59-year-old Johnnie Forte was arrested Friday after he allegedly shot a 29-year-old woman in the leg, according to Auburn Police.Officers responded to a shots fired call at a home on Kent Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. The woman was treated at East Alabama Medical Center for a non-life threatening injury.Forte now faces domestic violence charges.
    59-year-old Johnnie Forte was arrested Friday after he allegedly shot a 29-year-old woman in the leg, according to Auburn Police.Officers responded to a shots fired call at a home on Kent Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. The woman was treated at East Alabama Medical Center for a non-life threatening injury.Forte now faces domestic violence charges.
  • LaGrange man shot in face while sleeping

    LaGrange man shot in face while sleeping

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:15:21 GMT
    A LaGrange man is recovering after being shot in the face while he was sleeping, according to LaGrange Police. 
    A LaGrange man is recovering after being shot in the face while he was sleeping, according to LaGrange Police. 
  • Authorities: Man walks into sheriff's office, confesses to sexual abuse

    Authorities: Man walks into sheriff's office, confesses to sexual abuse

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:58:31 GMT
    Johnny Row BoltJohnny Row Bolt
    A 62-year-old Chambers County man was arrested on two counts of Sexual Abusecharges. Authorities with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office say Johnny Bolt, of Five Points, walked into the sheriff's office this week and confessed to sexually abusing a family member under the age of 12. They say he was arrested Thursday and made bond that same day.
    A 62-year-old Chambers County man was arrested on two counts of Sexual Abusecharges. Authorities with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office say Johnny Bolt, of Five Points, walked into the sheriff's office this week and confessed to sexually abusing a family member under the age of 12. They say he was arrested Thursday and made bond that same day.
Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.