The frenetic pace of motions and denials in the case of condemned Stocking Strangler Carlton Gary continues, with Gary’s defense counsel filing a notice of appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and a federal court request for funds to hire expert witnesses for Gary’s Monday hearing before the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Jack Martin, Gary’s Atlanta attorney, filed his notice of appeal to the state Supreme Court at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, stating his intent to argue that the man convicted in three of the seven brutal rapes and stranglings of elderly Columbus women in the late 1970s should get a stay of execution to DNA-test evidence from those crimes.
Also on Thursday, Martin filed a motion in U.S. District Court seeking $2,500 to have two expert witnesses testify before the parole board about crime-scene evidence that he says does not match Gary. Specifically, Martin wanted a dental expert to testify that a bite mark mold made from a wound on victim Janet Cofer’s breast does not match Gary’s teeth, and that semen found on victim Martha Thurmond does not fit Gary’s status as a “strong secretor” of markers indicating his blood type.
District Court Judge Clay Land today denied Martin’s request, ruling that testimony from the same two witnesses is documented in the record of Gary’s previous appeals, so there’s no need for live testimony before the parole board.
Land noted also that another district court considering a similar request decided that a clemency hearing before a parole board is not the place to “relitigate issues that have been already considered extensively and thoroughly by the state and federal courts.”
Land wrote that the court already paid $7,000 for the dental expert, who testified extensively at an evidentiary hearing on Feb. 14, 2007. Testimony from the expert witness on Gary’s being a “strong secretor” rather than the weak secretor or non-secretor thought to have left the semen on Thurmond also is recorded, Land said, in conclusion adding: “Finally, if petitioner wishes to present these experts’ opinions to the board, they are already in the record, and the transcribed testimony can be presented without the need to authorizes additional funds.”
Gary’s parole board hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday in Atlanta. His execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.