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Bench trial of murder suspect begins Feb. 7

Bryant Williams, the man accused in the shooting deaths of his girlfriend, who had just found out that she was expecting a child, and her pregnant sister on April 30, 2008, will be tried in McDuffie County Superior Court in Thomson next month.

The 26-year-old Thomson man will not be tried by a 12-person jury. He has waived a jury trial and will have a bench trial, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7.

It is expected to last at least two days, court officials say. Superior Court Judge Harold A. Hinesley will hear the case of the State of Georgia vs. Bryant Williams, who is represented by Toombs Judicial Circuit Public Defender Harold W. Wallace III. Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood R. Davis will prosecute.

Mr. Williams is charged with the slayings of his girlfriend, Linda Mathis, and her sister, Marlo Mathis, who was six months pregnant at the time. The sisters were shot multiple times inside a Cherry Street apartment in Thomson where Mr. Williams and Miss Mathis lived. Miss Mathis' sister, of Warrenton, had been visiting with the couple.

Authorities have never revealed a motive for the killings.

After the shooting, Mr. Williams fled in a vehicle. He later was apprehended in Washington County by Trooper First Class Mark Cabe, who was assigned to the Milledgeville Georgia State Patrol post. Trooper Cabe is one of several witnesses expected to testify.

Mr. Williams, who remains jailed without bond in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center, is charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of feticide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes and three counts of statutory aggravating circumstances.

Web posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011

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