Crime

Fall trial date possible for Calmer in slaying of Monroe County Deputy Michael Norris

Accused Monroe County cop killer arraigned

Christopher Calmer pleaded not guilty in the alleged slaying of a Monroe County sheriff's deputy and the wounding of another in September 2014. Monroe District Attorney Richard Milam explained what is next in the case.
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Christopher Calmer pleaded not guilty in the alleged slaying of a Monroe County sheriff's deputy and the wounding of another in September 2014. Monroe District Attorney Richard Milam explained what is next in the case.

FORSYTH -- If a Monroe County judge has his way, the accused killer of a sheriff's deputy here could go on trial for his life in October.

A fall trial date, however, in the death penalty case against 48-year-old Christopher Calmer, suspected of gunning down a Monroe deputy in September 2014, could be pushed back as capital punishment prosecutions frequently are.

Calmer, 48, is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Monroe Deputy Michael Norris and the wounding of another lawman in a gun battle at Calmer's parents' home near Bolingbroke.

Calmer was in Monroe Superior Court for a hearing Thursday as his attorneys asked Judge Tommy Wilson to consider a number of pretrial motions. More than 90 motions have been filed in the case.

Come fall, the case will be two years old, and Wilson has urged Calmer's lawyers to pick up the pace to get it to trial.

At Thursday's proceedings there also was, due to the high-profile nature of the slaying, discussion of possibly bringing in jurors from nearby Upson or Butts counties to hear the case.

Wilson, though, was quick to note: "We're gonna try it here" in Monroe.

Calmer, who has told of suffering from chronic and debilitating back and other pain, sat much of the morning slumped over between his lawyers, resting his head on the defense table. He clutched his left arm as he walked into court.

He is being held at an undisclosed county jail in another part of the midstate.

One of his attorneys told the judge Thursday morning that the travel to and from that county lockup was difficult for Calmer.

Lawyer Gabrielle Amber Pittman said the travel "agitates my client's neurological problems."

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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