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
Local woman reaches out to others this holiday season
“It’s better to give than receive,” says 24-year-old Brittney McKinnon of Tifton, who’s giving back to her community by hosting a “Cheerful Givers” Christmas Toy Drive.
Wiregrass Christmas at Museum of Ag Dec. 14
Victorian dessert sampling and traditional Christmas and Bluegrass music on the farmhouse porches will highlight the activities that visitors can enjoy from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Wiregrass Christmas event Dec. 14 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Ocilla firefighter answers the call – at his own home
Captain Kenneth Hendley, with the Ocilla Fire Department, answered a call Tuesday afternoon, just as he's done hundreds of times before.
Holiday shopping spree not for everyone
Many Americans are watching the annual holiday spending ritual from the sidelines this year.
Money is still tight for some. Others are fed up with commercialism of the holidays. Still others are waiting for bigger bargains.
Georgia high school graduation rate increases
The graduation rate for the state's public high schools increased by nearly two percentage points over the previous year, state education officials said.
Hall of Fame? It's time, says AD
The idea of having an Athletic Hall of Fame at the Tift County High School Performing Arts Center resulted in a lengthy discussion at Tuesday night’s Tift County Board of Education meeting.
Athletic Director Rusty Smith said he and others are proposing a Tift County Athletic Hall Fame. He said they travel to other schools that have a Hall of Fame, but Tift County doesn’t have one.
Officers follow 'gut' – get the guy
A suspicious check Tuesday afternoon by Tifton police officers leads to a man’s arrest for burglary.
Woman robbed while child waits in car
A local woman was robbed early Wednesday morning by three males at her residence while her child was locked in the car.
Couple robbed at gunpoint
Tifton police responded to an armed robbery at a local business on South Park Avenue Tuesday morning.
TCHS, CSE get just 'rewards'
Tift County High School and Charles Spencer Elementary School have been recognized as Title I Reward schools, announced Tammie Smith, director of federal programs, at Tuesday night’s Tift County Board of Education meeting.
According to Smith, this is part of Georgia’s waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. She informed board members that instead of having AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status, now schools are classified as a reward, priority, focus or alert school.
- More Local News Headlines
- Local woman reaches out to others this holiday season