Tifton Gazette

Local News

July 30, 2009

<img src="http://valdosta.sgaonline.com/headlines/9.gif" /> Death penalty won't be sought in Colquitt multiple slaying case

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.

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