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Bolia, Pirkle attorneys ask for trial continuances

A Dearing businessman and a former McDuffie County schoolteacher and band director, both indicted last year, appeared in McDuffie County Superior Court Tuesday morning for pretrials. Both men's attorneys requested a continuance.

H. Peter Bolia is charged with voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, both felonies. Mr. Bolia, the owner of C&T Automotive near Dearing, is accused of causing the death of Louie Williford of South Railroad Street, Dearing, in April.

"This is not your run-of-the-mill case," Mr. Bolia's attorney, Chadwick D. Medlin, said. Mr. Medlin said Mr. Bolia had experienced personal and financial problems that stemmed from his arrest and prevented him from attending to his case. Toombs Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Harold A. Hinesley granted the continuance because of the seriousness of the offense. A continuance means the trial date was postponed until an undetermined date.

Philip Bradley Pirkle is charged with violation of computer electronic pornography and child exploitation and sexual exploitation of children -- both felonies.

Mr. Pirkle was a teacher and band director at what was then known as Thomson Middle and Thomson-McDuffie County Junior High schools. He resigned in July 2009, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation served him with search warrants and seized several items considered evidence from his home on Johns Road. Mr. Pirkle was arrested in February 2010.

Formerly represented by Peter C. Followill, Mr. Pirkle was represented by Katheryn Boortz of Conaway and Strickler, P.C. of Atlanta at the pretrial. Ms. Boortz said she had not seen the electronic evidence and therefore could not advise her client on whether to request a jury trial or bench trial.

Prosecuting attorney Durwood R. Davis said the district attorney's office always has "an open file policy" and had provided everything it could provide legally for the case. He said the electronic evidence was available at the DA's office for the defense to view at any time.

Judge Hinesley said he would leave Mr. Pirkle's case on the trial calendar with the possibility of allowing a continuance after Ms. Boortz had viewed the evidence.

Web posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011

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