The Georgia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments this morning in the case of two men accused of killing a Bibb County deputy in 2006.
Antron Fair, 25, and Damon Jolly, 24, are charged with murder in the March 23, 2006, death of deputy Joseph Whitehead. Whitehead died while helping serve a “no knock” warrant at 3135 Atherton St.
If convicted, both men could face the death penalty.
Superior Court Judge Tripp Self issued an order in November that the case be reviewed by the state Supreme Court before trial.
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Issues scheduled to be argued include:
n Whether the trial court was right in denying a defense motion that argued it’s unconstitutional that a defendant face the death penalty when a police officer is killed.
n If it matters whether Fair and Jolly knew Whitehead was a law enforcement officer when shots were fired when the “no knock” warrant was being served.
n Whether the trial court was right in ruling that a statute offering immunity from prosecution doesn’t apply to the cases.
n Whether the trial court made a mistake in holding a hearing when Fair wasn’t present.
n If there’s a conflict of interest in both men being represented by Georgia Capital Defenders.
“Our position is there is clearly a conflict of interest and the trial court needs to devise a remedy,” prosecutor Kim Schwartz said.
In June 2009, Self ruled that although he didn’t believe there was a conflict of interest, there was potential for a conflict. He removed a person working with Jolly’s legal team who was alleged to have had access to information about Fair’s case.
The case was initially scheduled for trial in January 2009, but prosecutors reindicted Fair and Jolly in September 2008, adding drug and firearm offenses to the list of charges against the two men.
James Stokes, an attorney representing Jolly, said he expects the cases to go to trial after the Supreme Court makes its ruling.
No trial date has been set.
“We’re trying to do what we need to do to protect Mr. Jolly,” he said.
A message left for Brian Steel, an attorney representing Fair, was not returned Friday.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.