The lingering case of convicted "Stocking Strangler" Carlton Gary will linger even longer.
After February hearings on Gary's motion for a new trial in the heinous rapes and stranglings of older Columbus women back in 1977 and '78, his defense team faced a Monday deadline to file additional motions based on those proceedings.
But Gary's attorneys asked for an extension, which Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. granted. They now have until June 16 to file their "post-evidentiary hearing brief."
Once the defense brief is filed, prosecutors have 45 days to respond.
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The hearing in early February delved into defense claims that some evidence from the seven stranglings does not fit Gary, and casts doubt on his guilt. Prosecutors maintain such evidence is minimal compared to all that shows Gary was the serial killer who terrorized Columbus from September 1977 to April 1978.
In seeking an extension, Gary's Atlanta attorneys gave these reasons for the delay:
They have to create a draft of their brief and send it to Gary for his review.
They have to meet with Gary at the death-row prison in Jackson to go over the document with him.
They have four other death-penalty cases to work on at the same time.
So far five years have passed since Gary narrowly escaped death by lethal injection in December 2009 when the Georgia Supreme Court ordered a stay and sent the case back to Muscogee County for a hearing on DNA testing. That 2010 testing initially yielded mixed results, though one test later was determined to be flawed by contaminated lab equipment.
The mixed test results prompted Gary's attorneys to move that he be granted a new trial, and they and prosecutors have been arguing about it since.
Gary was arrested in the string of homicides in 1984 and convicted in three of the seven slayings in 1986.
Though authorities chose to prosecute him on the three cases with the strongest evidence, prosecutors maintain he committed each of the strangling, and used evidence from each to show a pattern of criminal conduct.