A judge again has ordered that convicted Stocking Strangler Carlton Gary be brought to Columbus for a hearing on DNA-testing evidence in the 1970s serial killings, but the hearing won’t be needed if the prosecution and defense agree this week on which evidence to test.
Muscogee District Attorney Julia Slater said a consent agreement of which both sides approve would preclude the hearing set for 10:30 a.m. Monday in Judge Robert Johnston’s court on the city Government Center’s 11th floor.
“We are discussing a potential agreement for the testing of certain items,” Slater said Tuesday. Gary’s attorney, Jack Martin, said he could not comment on the negotiations.
Convicted in three of the seven “Stocking Stranglings” of elderly Columbus women in the late 1970s, Gary was to die by lethal injection Dec. 16 when the Georgia Supreme Court stayed the execution and ordered a hearing on DNA testing. A hearing held Feb. 1 was delayed when the defense requested a continuance, to which Slater agreed.
The two sides have discussed which evidence to DNA test. Some of the material stored at the Columbus Police Department is thought to contain sperm, which can yield a DNA profile decades later. Gary’s DNA profile was included in a federal database in 2005, but DNA testing was not used in U.S. courts when he was convicted in 1986.