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Sumner trial set for July 31

The oft-delayed trial of Bobbie Jo Sumner will get underway with jury selection Monday, July 31 at the Monroe County courthouse. Judge Tommy Wilson moved the trial to Forsyth at a hearing Friday morning at the Butts County courthouse but not because of pre-trial publicity. Sumner is charged with first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements in connection with the death of Alexandra Noelle Desir on June 29, 2013. Sumner’s attorney Bubba Head cited publicity of the case by The Herald Gazette in seeking a change of venue and wanted the trial moved to Monroe County. Assistant district attorney James Moss countered with case law. ”I have heard nothing today that would indicate it would be impossible to have a jury hear this case in Lamar County,” Judge Wilson said. Then he denied the venue change and announced his intention to try the case July 24 in Barnesville. Moss and Head both noted issues in getting witnesses lined up on such short notice so Judge Wilson agreed to move the proceedings to Monroe County where a jury has already been summoned for that week to deal with potential case load in light of a recent, time-consuming death penalty trial there. Judge Wilson also noted he would not be entertaining any plea deals with Sumner. For much more on this story, see the 7.11.17 print edition of The Herald Gazette.

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