Jury Picked To Hear Second Retrial in Farm Family Slayings
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) _ A jury was chosen today for the retrial of a man charged in the killings of six members of a farm family in 1973, and a defense attorney then asked that his client be fitted for dentures to improve his image.
It took three weeks to pick 12 jurors and four alternates for the retrial of Wayne Carl Coleman. After selection was complete, Judge Hugh Lawson heard arguments on defense motions.
Coleman, Carl Isaacs and George Dungee were originally convicted and sentenced to death in 1974 for the slayings of six members of the Ned Alday family on their farm in southwest Georgia’s Seminole County.
The convictions were overturned in 1985 by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said fair trials were impossible because of extensive publicity about the case.
The appeals court ordered new trials held elsewhere in Georgia. Coleman is the second of the three to be retried; his case is being heard in DeKalb County Superior Court, near Atlanta.
Isaacs was convicted in Houston County earlier this year and was again sentenced to death.
After jury selection was completed, Lawson heard arguments on a defense request for a continuance to allow Coleman to be fitted for dentures.
″We think he will present a less favorable image to this jury″ without the dentures, said Coleman’s attorney, Thomas M. West.
The judge said he would defer ruling on that motion and one for a change of venue until the close of business today. The change of venue motion asks that the trial be moved to another location, citing extensive publicity in Atlanta.
Another motion seeking Billy Isaacs, Carl Isaacs’ younger brother, as a defense witness was denied. Lawson said that since the younger Isaacs is to be a witness for the prosecution, defense attorneys will have chance to cross- examine him.
Billy Isaacs, who was 15 when he witnessed the slayings, turned state’s evidence and testified at the original trials. He is serving a 40-year prison sentence.
Coleman, Carl Isaacs and George Dungee were escapees from a Maryland prison when they were arrested.
Alday, his brother and three sons were shot one by one on May 14, 1973, when they arrived at the home of one of the sons, where Coleman and his companions were interrupted in a burglary, according to testimony.
The wife of one of Alday’s sons was taken to a woods six miles away, where she was raped and killed.