Monroe County deputies drove to Cordele Thursday to retrieve Calmer from the Crisp County jail, where he has been held. When they arrived, the deputies were told what had happened, said Sgt. Lawson Bittick, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was a superficial wound,” Bittick said.
Emergency medical workers examined Calmer, bandaged his wound and deemed him stable for travel to Forsyth for Friday’s pretrial hearing.
Gabrielle Pittman, one of Calmer’s lawyers, argued Friday that it was “largely inappropriate” to take him to court Friday.
Calmer, who in recent hearings has dressed in a suit and tie and sat alert at the defense table, spent much of the hour or so in court Friday with his head on the table or sitting up with his eyes shut.
Bittick said Calmer, since he’s accused of killing a deputy, is typically watched via video surveillance when he’s at the Monroe County jail.
Pittman asked that authorities be required to provide records from the suicide attempt and video.
Calmer entered Friday’s hearing in Monroe County Superior Court with a large bandage on his neck.
Jury selection in the case is set to begin in May in Upson County, with testimony to follow in Forsyth June 5.
Calmer’s lawyers have opposed the trial being held in Forsyth, arguing that it will be impossible to shield jurors from seeing the multiple memorials to Norris, including at least one in the courthouse where the trial will be held.
To allow the jurors to observe them would rob Calmer of his due process right to a fair trial, they argued in a motion filed with the court.
“The whole point of a change of venue is to get out of Monroe County and to get away from the political and emotional responses of this community,” Pittman said in court Friday.
Monroe County Sheriff John Cary Bittick said he’s arranged for deputies from another county to drive the Upson County jurors to and from Forsyth each day.
The defense filed a motion Friday arguing that Calmer should be granted immunity from prosecution under the state’s “stand your ground” law.
They contend Calmer was “defending his life, property or the life of a third party” when he fatally shot Norris and wounded Wilson as they responded to a report of a suicidal person at the home of Calmer’s parents near Bolingbroke.
A judge is set to consider the motion at an April 21 hearing.