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Date Set for Jonathan Courson Trial

The case of the State of GA vs. Jonathan Kyle Courson, involving the murder of his wife Mandy, has been working through our justice system for over a year now. A trial date has been set for February 18, 2014 at Appling County Courthouse in Baxley.

                In that year there have been many twist and turns, motions filed, and hearings held.  Bond was denied to Courson in February of 2013. He was represented at that time by Deen Strickland. Since then Strickland had passed the case to the Public Defender’s Office. John Wetzler is now the attorney of record and charged with defending Jonathan. His latest effort was in the form of a motion heard January 9, 2014 in Hazelhurst, GA.

                Mr. Wetzler’s argument involves blood evidence and subsequent DNA testing. The motion filed with Appling County Clerk of Court, F. Floyd Hunter on December 18, 2014 states that a spatter of blood found in the home ,once it was turned over to the defense, was neither found nor processed by the state. Testimony by Arney Herrin, criminal investigator formerly for the State of Georgia, supported the claim by the defense.

                The defense submitted the blood along with a saliva sample from Jonathan Courson for DNA testing. It was determined the blood’s profile did not match that of Jonathan Courson. They wish for the sample to be run through the CODIS system, which is used by law enforcement to store DNA profiles from convicted persons.

                According to the same filing “In a Defense motion previously heard,” a reference was made to “unknown” samples collected by the State at the crime scene. The samples were submitted for DNA testing to the GBI Crime Lab and have not yet been disclosed to the defense.

                Mr. Wexler states in those same papers that is impossible to announce “Ready” for the February trial date.

                As of now, the motion has not been ruled on, so there is no way to know whether or not the February trial date will or will not stand.

                Jackie Johnson, District Attorney, could not be reached for comment.

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