Eight defendants face trial

ALBANY, Ga. -- As courtrooms go, room 211 in the Albany-Dougherty Judicial Building had almost as many lawyers as jurors Tuesday.

Eight attorneys represented eight defendants charged with multiple crimes including felony murder, aggravated assault and street-gang terrorism. District Attorney Greg Edwards did not see the opposition's numbers as a problem.

"This is the most (attorneys) I have had to deal with at one time," Edwards said. "The major problem I have involves a Supreme Court decision that says I can't use one defendant's testimony against another defendant (when tried together) unless they take the stand."

The defendants are Cavoris M. Barney, Jacorey A. Butts, Sean Frazier, Anthony W. Hawkins, Anthony B. Seay, Shacoby Seay, Shuntavious Seay and Shenard Smith.

Edwards said that Smith fatally shot LaShelton Kernard Stanford on Feb 14, 2010 at the now defunct Schilling Avenue Brick House Productions studio during a brawl in the parking lot. Under the law, all of those who were involved were charged with the murder, he added.

Stanford suffered seven gunshot wounds. He had been in town visiting friends and family. A security guard at the studio was shot in the arm and recovered.

Tuesday's court maneuvers erupted from the defense attorneys as Edwards said he had some additional material to enter into the record that he was given that day by the Albany Police Department.

Defense attorney Phil Cannon said the move was a "violation of the discovery statue." Discovery in court cases means that all evidence the prosecution has should be turned over to the defense before the trial starts, according to uslegal.com.

Defense attorney's also stated that the information given them in earlier discovery was either incomplete or misleading. After saying that prosecutors "had acted in good faith to supply all the information," by 5 p.m. Edwards had produced copies of all the documents the police had on the case in answer to the defense attorneys.

Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall said she wanted all issues resolved before she would allow a jury to be sworn in. Divided in two panels, the remaining jury pool was instructed to return either Wednesday or Thursday to be questioned by the lawyers.


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