Phenix City Councilman Arthur L. Sumbry Sr. will likely be tried some time this summer on charges of perjury and forgery, the judge presiding over the case said today.
Sumbry, 70, appeared in Russell County Circuit Court this morning for the first time since his January indictment. He and co-defendant Ella Mae Sanders pleaded not guilty to felony counts of perjury and forgery. Both are free on $2,500 bond.
Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III said one of the defendants will be tried in June and the other in August. Assistant District Attorney Buster Landreau, however, said prosecutors will file a motion to try Sumbry and Sanders at the same time.
Walker set a hearing for June 7 to rule on any outstanding motions. Walker was appointed to the case by Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb after two Russell County judges recused themselves.
Sumbry, a former notary, is charged with forging a warranty deed and lying about it under oath. According to prosecutors, Sanders brought Sumbry a warranty deed containing a forged signature that he notarized. Sumbry and Sanders allegedly lied under oath about the deed during a November 2009 hearing in Russell County Circuit Court.