By Alan Mauldin
MOULTRIE — A woman indicted in June in the 2004 slaying of five members of a Colquitt County family had her first court appearance in the case on Tuesday.
Wilma Ann Yvonne Stover, 22, was arraigned Tuesday in Colquitt County Superior Court. Stover, 31, is accused in connection with the deaths of Jaime Cruz Resendez, 25, Katrina Darlene Resendez, 29, Lillianna Aguillar Rodriguez, 30, Betty Watts, 50, and 3-year-old Juan Carlos Resendez.
Prior to her return to Colquitt County, Stover, who lived In Nashville, Ga., at the time of the Nov. 8, 2004, slayings at a home on Adel Highway in Colquitt County, was serving time in federal custody on marijuana charges.
She was returned Tuesday to Colquitt County and will be housed in Thomas County in a separate facility from co-defendant Jerry Johnny Thompson, who is being held in Colquitt County. Thompson was indicted in December 2006.
Stover had been held previously in a federal Community Corrections Management facility in Atlanta prior to her return to Southwest Georgia. The Federal Bureau of Prisons Web site gave her expected release date in that conviction as Oct. 27, 2009.
On Wednesday, David Miller, district attorney for the Southern Judicial District, said he has decided not to seek the death penalty against Stover.
Miller had earlier declared his intent to seek the death penalty against Thompson, who also is serving a 27-year sentence federal prison sentence in another case.
Stover, who was indicted June 16 on five counts of felony murder, first appeared in a legal hearing Wednesday in which she entered a not-guilty plea.
Miller, who will serve as lead prosecutor in the case, said that the earliest possible trial date would come in November. The next potential legal steps in the process would include Stover’s attorney filing a motion for bond and pre-trial motions.
Stover and Thompson cannot be tried in the same proceeding because death penalty trials must be held separately, Miller said.
He said he could not discuss at this time Stover’s alleged role in the slayings.
The last death penalty trial to occur in Colquitt County was in the early 1980s, he said.
The bodies of the four family members and Rodriguez, a family friend and housekeeper, were found by a relative when he returned home from school. All five had been shot to death.
Investigators have said that Jaime Resendez was involved with a marijuana ring that stretched from Texas to Moultrie.
Stover is being represented by Moultrie attorney Jody Weathers, Assistant District Attorney Brian McDaniel said Wednesday.
<img src="http://valdosta.sgaonline.com/headlines/9.gif" /> Death penalty won't be sought in Colquitt multiple slaying case
By Alan Mauldin
- Local News
Breathe Run set for March 16
The second annual Breathe Run & Family Fun Day will be held March 16 at Heritage Church in Moultrie, from 3 to 6 p.m.
The run will benefit Breathe Ministry at the church, which works with special needs children and adults from all over South Georgia. All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase a handicap-accessible van for use by Breathe.
No furlough day for teachers
Local teachers will not be furloughed for the day they missed in January when freezing temperatures caused Tift County schools to close.
Superintendent Patrick Atwater informed Tift County Board of Education members during Tuesday night’s work session that the state board of education did approve a waiver for school systems not to make up the instructional days lost due to inclement weather.
Burglary reports take up time of local law enforcement
Local law enforcement responded to several incidents this week, including many burglaries.
According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, a couple told police Wednesday afternoon their home had been burglarized. They could not give a specific date or time, but the wife said she noticed her Samsung Blu-ray was missing from their home Monday.
Benson qualifies for State Court Judge
Herbert Benson has qualified as a candidate for the position of State Court Judge for Tift County.
Benson filed his “Notice of Candidacy” for this position during the qualifying period which began Monday. The incumbent Tift State Court Judge, Larry Mims announced Jan. 9 that he would not seek re-election to the position that he has held since August 2000.
Things are looking peachy for Georgia's 2nd biggest crop
Georgia’s peach crop will benefit from the cooler-than-normal winter. While temperatures have already hovered near or below freezing throughout the state on numerous nights this year, peach trees are thriving with their needed cooling hours.
Tifton designated Purple Heart City; Myon on track for fall move-in
At Monday’s City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Johnny Terrell read a proclamation for recipients of the Purple Heart Medal, designating the city of Tifton as a Purple Heart City. Mayor Jamie Cater was absent due to illness.
“The people of the city of Tifton have great admiration and utmost gratitude for all men and women who have selflessly served their country and this community in the Armed Forces,” he read.
Legion districts team up to help Ga. vets
Military veterans in and around the 12th District areas are invited next week through March 6-8 for a special service session at the Tifton American Legion Post 21.
- Harper named Youth of the Year
Waite honored as city employee of the month
Tifton police officer Jason Waite was recognized as Employee of the Month for February at Monday evening’s City Council meeting.
Man linked to forgeries in several counties
A Cook County man was arrested Thursday and charged with several counts of forgery in the fourth degree, as well as deposit account fraud.
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- Breathe Run set for March 16