The shotgun slaying trial of a 46-year-old Dearing man accused of killing his estranged wife in March 2008, is slated to begin Sept. 21 in McDuffie County Superior Court in Thomson.
Alphonso Smith, who has been jailed in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center since the March 29 of last year in the shooting death of Mary Anne Smith, appeared before Toombs Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Roger W. Dunaway Jr. last Tuesday seeking a jury trial.
Mr. Smith, who has declared his innocence, is represented by Public Defender Harold Wallace.
Mr. Smith is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He was indicted by a grand jury in June 2008. Mrs. Smith died from a shotgun blast to the face, authorities said.
In count five of the indictment against Mr. Smith, grand jurors say he knowingly and willfully planted false evidence "with the intent to obstruct" his prosecution on a murder charge.
Grand jurors further contend that he placed a machete under her body "in an attempt to stage the shooting as self-defense," court records show.
The fatal shooting stemmed from an argument between Mr. and Mrs. Smith, authorities said. McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall told reporters at the time of the shooting that his deputies had responded to several domestic disturbance calls involving the couple.
Sheriff Marshall called in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist his department with the shooting investigation.
Mr. Smith was taken into custody by Deputies Al Reeves and Alan Baldwin minutes after the shooting.
A number of witnesses are expected to testify in the trial, which could last two or more days, court officials say. District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders and Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood R. Davis will prosecute.