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DA won't seek death penalty in Thomson dragging case

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 4:35 PM
Last updated 9:36 PM
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THOMSON — Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Dennis Sanders announced Wednesday he will not seek the death penalty in the 2011 case against two people charged with killing a woman and dragging her body behind a vehicle.

Both Ricky Wells and Tina Wells pleaded not guilty Wednesday in McDuffie County Superior Court during an arraignment hearing. They are charged in the September 2011 death of Jennifer Kitchens Wells, 36. Authorities have said she was shot outside a McDuffie County convenience store and then dragged for several miles, into Warren County.

A special court session will be scheduled this summer for the Wells’ trial, court officials said.

Authorities quickly arrested her ex-husband, Ricky Wells, 44, of Dearing, and his girlfriend, Tina Wells, 41, of Bone­ville. Both are being held in the McDuf­fie County Law Enforcement Center.

Ricky Wells and Tina Wells were indicted last August by a McDuffie County grand jury. Both are charged, individually and as co-conspirators, with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and aggravating circumstances.

They are being held on $1 million bond each.

Inves­ti­gators believe the victim was lured from her home in Glascock County to the isolated McDuffie County convenience store to discuss a child custody situation. After being shot, authorities said, her body was hooked to Ricky Wells’ pickup and dragged into Warren County, possibly to avoid leaving incriminating blood stains in the vehicle, police have said.

Initially it was not apparent whether Wells died from the shooting or the dragging, but autopsy results indicated the gunshot was fatal.

Investigators have not disclosed a motive.

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CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 03/27/13 - 03:55 pm
14
0
What?

They shot her and then dragged her body across TWO counties and the DA is not going for the death penalty? How does that even happen? Is he to lazy to try a death penalty case, or just too inept?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/13 - 05:23 pm
12
0
This can't be correct

I've hardly ever heard of a case that sounded more exactly like premeditated, cold-blooded murder in my very long life.

They should forfeit their lives for the horror they perpetrated, not just against the victim and those who love her, but against all of society that must share the planet with such terrible, worthless, narcissistic sociopaths.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 03/27/13 - 04:30 pm
2
4
A lack of evidence to
Unpublished

A lack of evidence to establish premeditation or fiscal responsibility (like it or not) most likely.

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 04:51 pm
3
1
Wait, what is the GA law on pleading guilty

In many states, pleading guilty, no extended trial, takes the death penalty off the table. I tried to quickly research GA law. Wish my dad was still alive. Here is the quickest link I could find.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/conyers-man-pleads-guilty-to-slay...

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 04:58 pm
4
1
Oh geeze

I split an infinitive. Is that even a crime against the English language anymore? It was when I was educated. 3 grammatical, spelling, or typos took your letter grade down to the next level on an English paper, no matter how brilliant your work was otherwise.

LillyfromtheMills
14342
Points
LillyfromtheMills 03/27/13 - 05:26 pm
4
0
No!

The death penalty for both of them! They together were cold blooded!

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 05:37 pm
5
1
I would agree

But first I want to know how state law of GA deals with this. Dennis cannot go against the law. Just swiftly reading the first part of the link I posted...... If it is true, get the law changed.

GiantsAllDay
10560
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/27/13 - 05:53 pm
5
1
KSL, you are forgiven. A

KSL, you are forgiven. A split infinitive is not a high crime nor a misdemeanor. On the other hand, there is nothing more embarrassing than a dangling participle.

dichotomy
37618
Points
dichotomy 03/27/13 - 06:06 pm
13
0
If there was ever a case that

If there was ever a case that cried out for the death penalty it is this one and the killing of the toddler down in Brunswick. There is one problem with the death penalty. We don't use it often enough.

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 06:19 pm
3
1
Di

I would agree. I don't go with weaseling out of if it for pleading guilty. But until I know GA law, I will defend a friend.

CobaltGeorge
176944
Points
CobaltGeorge 03/27/13 - 06:45 pm
1
1
I Have Attended A Few

of Dennis Sanders murder trials and for the life of me, I can't believe that he would not go for the Death Penalty on this one. I always thought he was a level headed conservative, he must have joined the socialist liberal party.

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 07:17 pm
3
1
CG

What is the law on pleading guilty in GA? Have not lived in GA since 1969. I would love to see them off the earth too for what they did. I can't imagine reasons for doing what he did unless it is something so significant that it was the best decision based on the facts of his case.

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 07:31 pm
3
1
The Dennis I know would not

The Dennis I know would not do that. We need to know more about the circumstances of his case.

And the law in GA.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 03/27/13 - 07:34 pm
1
0
A little off topic, but it

A little off topic, but it caught my attention... We've got Ricky Wells and ex-wife Jennifer Wells. How is it that the girlfriend's last name is also 'Wells'?

I_the_stranger
5
Points
I_the_stranger 03/27/13 - 07:36 pm
3
0
Travesty

This WAS a death penalty case! Mr. Sanders is more concerned about the cost to McDuffie County and his own win/loss ratio than what my family and the citizens want and deserve! I hope someone will run against him when the time comes.

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 07:43 pm
3
1
Law

I do believe in the law, despite the fact that our potus seems not to.

Didn't someone say he went to law school? Does he have a licence to practice law? Does Michelle? You can keep your credentials active for less than a minimal amount a year, if you have not been deprived of them.

Was Clinton deprived of his? He and Hill got themselves into some real messy situations. He slicked his way out of them.t

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/27/13 - 07:50 pm
2
1
The GA law please, or more ibfo on the case

The law, please, about guilty pleas. I am desperate to hear it!

scoopdedoop64
2514
Points
scoopdedoop64 03/27/13 - 07:55 pm
3
0
And We Wonder Why

Premeditated murder and you don't go for the death penalty in a trial that is necessitated by the defendants plea of not guilty...well that is just crazy. Seems to me Thompson needs a new DA! Until we take proven murders to a speedy execution for all to see we will not have a drop in murders. And we wonder why people commit so many murders?

laro247
132
Points
laro247 03/27/13 - 08:28 pm
6
0
I once talked to a friend

I once talked to a friend that is an attorney concerning the different levels of murder. Murder meaning killing someone that you fully intend to kill. How forethought and amount of planning involved in the murder weighed on the level of the murder charge. I then asked my friend, well how dead was the victim? A little dead, half dead, DEAD as you can be. If it was murder and that can be proved beyond a shadow of doubt and the state has a death penalty, why should the penalty be anything less than a death sentence?

scoopdedoop64
2514
Points
scoopdedoop64 03/27/13 - 08:51 pm
3
0
@laro247

Well said, I agree wholeheartedly!

myfather15
57307
Points
myfather15 03/27/13 - 09:55 pm
5
0
@rolling eyes

Ricky Well's girlfriend is his Aunt, married to his uncle. That's why she has his last name.

myfather15
57307
Points
myfather15 03/27/13 - 10:24 pm
5
0
@KSL

To my knowledge, there is no specific law on guilty pleas. It's up to the District Attorney and the defense to strike deals that are agreeable to both parties. The Judge can also overrule any deal if he believes it is too lenient in the punishment. The DA and Defense comes up with something they agree on, but ultimately, it's up to the judge to allow the terms of the deal.

They COULD have sought the death penalty, and used that as a bargaining tool to hang over their heads, and possibly get them to plead guilty for life imprisonment, without parole. Now, I'm not exactly sure what they will use for incentive for them to plead guilty.

myfather15
57307
Points
myfather15 03/27/13 - 10:20 pm
6
0
@I the stranger

You're correct about him being concerned about the cost, but he isn't alone. Most of the politicians are concerned about this. Death penalty cases are VERY expensive, often costing multiple millions; some costing 10+ million dollars. The reason is all the evidentiary hearings, suppression hearings, etc. On a death penalty case, every single shred of evidence is under a microscope, even more so than other cases. You have the evidentiary hearings, then it seems you have hearings about the hearings.

This is especially true with rural Counties; because they simply can't afford them. It took Lincoln County almost 15 years to financially recover from the last Death penalty case they tried. In many cases, rural counties just don't have the financial resources to pay for death penalty cases.

Now, I'm not excusing this; because from what I've learned about this case, I agree that if there ever has been a death penalty case, this is it. My PERSONAL opinion is that they should definately go for the death penalty. I believe ANY premeditated murder should be prosecuted with the death penalty sought. There are murders where it was "heat of the moment". MAYBE and I repeat maybe these shouldn't be death penalty cases, but any murder where the suspects methodically planned it, should be death penalty.

But, as with MANY other things liberals disagree with; they've found a way to get rid of it, without literally doing away with it. They've flooded the system with such red tape and expense, most jurisdictions are VERY reluctant to seek the death penalty. So they get what they want; they've dramatically reduced the number of death penalty cases, without having to remove it from the books. Seems they ALWAYS find a way to circumvent the system and get their way.

seenitB4
98561
Points
seenitB4 03/28/13 - 08:25 am
4
0
Money money money

A death penalty case can sink a small town..

KSL
144668
Points
KSL 03/28/13 - 08:41 am
2
0
Thank you, myfather, for your

Thank you, myfather, for your answer.

itsanotherday1
48418
Points
itsanotherday1 03/28/13 - 09:12 am
3
0
Whatever the reasons

It is an abomination that our system allows these two to continue stealing oxygen.

Because of the cost, etc.; I would agree to the elimation of the death penalty if we could have some like this: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/black-dolphin-prison/

as an alternative. Watch the clip and note how they have to walk hunched over, and how there is a steel door between the guards and the cell barred door. The food is shoved through a port in the solid door on a pizza oven spatula, through to the cell door. No access for the prisoners to throw stuff on the guards, stab them, spit on them, etc.

We need one supermax in the United States, designed and operated like the Black Dolphin, for perps such as these two animals on trial in McDuffie Co.

Too bad the libs would never allow it; boo-hooing about it being "cruel and unusual".

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/28/13 - 10:24 am
3
0
The only problem with a US Black Dolphin is

that there are too many people, and I use that term euphemistically, that would need to be incarcerated in that way for just one.

We probably need two dozen of them.

allhans
24974
Points
allhans 03/28/13 - 10:42 am
4
0
Could someone at least drag

Could someone at least drag them for a few miles...(slow or fast).

twolane
191
Points
twolane 03/28/13 - 11:11 am
0
0
i doubt the cost falls on the county
Unpublished

this would be a state capital murder offense hence state they have all themoney in the world to spend on it

twolane
191
Points
twolane 03/28/13 - 11:14 am
0
0
and why
Unpublished

and why would you take the death penalty off the table for a not guilty plea...why not you plead guilty and take life or we go for the death penalty....thus no trial what so ever

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