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Thomson DA explains why he won't seek death penalty in 2011 slaying

Recommendations of victim's family, law enforcement cited

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THOMSON — District Attorney Dennis Sanders says he will not seek the death penalty against two people charged in a 2011 slaying because of a variety of circumstances, including the recommendation of the victim’s family and local law enforcement.

Both Ricky Wells and Tina Wells pleaded not guilty Wednesday in McDuffie County Superior Court during an arraignment hearing.

They are charged in the death of Wells’ former wife Jennifer Kitchens Wells, 36, who was shot outside a convenience store then dragged behind a vehicle for several miles into Warren County.

Sanders, who prosecutes cases in the Toombs Judicial Circuit, which includes McDuffie County, has refused to publicly discuss the case, but provided a list of reasons to a newspaper in Thomson. He says he will seek life without parole for both suspects.

Among the reasons he cited were recommendations from the family of the victim and local and state law enforcement.

He also cited the trial’s potential impact on the community, media publicity and a probable change of venue.

A change of venue has been requested for both Ricky and Tina Wells, but no hearing has been scheduled on the issue.

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KSL 03/30/13 - 12:03 am

I think I would think the same thing. But we have known him for a very long time. He knows more about the inside info on the case than we get from the news. I put my trust in people I have known for a long time. They betray it, I am quick to change.

KSL 03/30/13 - 12:05 am
By the way

If the death penalty, as it stands today, is the alternative, it is too lenient on the two of them.

JRC2024 03/30/13 - 07:47 am
Put them in a 6x6 cell and

Put them in a 6x6 cell and let them go crazy

IAmISaid 03/30/13 - 11:02 am
If ever a crime cried out for the DP, this is it...

I don't care what considerations DA Sanders thinks he had in this case, this is a crime in which the only acceptable outcome is the death penalty. The victims' families may not be in favor of it, but it is not their decision. The death penalty is supposed to be used to protect society from the likes of the Wells, and make absolutely certain that they can injure no one else again.

And yes, I know some of you believe in such things as life without possibility of parole - but the simple fact is that anyone in prison can be released from prison - whether by escape or by court order. There simply is no guarantee that the prisoner sentenced to a life sentence will not harm anyone else again - only the death penalty can yield that certainty - that permanent justice.

Darby 03/30/13 - 08:59 pm
"He says he will seek life...

without parole for both suspects."

Oh, great and we get to foot the bill for housing, food and free medical care for these animals for years and years and years....

Just dandy...

Jane18 03/31/13 - 08:54 am
What About Jennifer?

What "recommendations by the family"(of Jennifer)? If, and I do mean if, her family did have some input in this decision, why would a prosector NOT want to go for the death penalty of two premeditated murderers? I'm sorry folks, as I have said so many times before, there are some people that do not deserve to live on this earth because of their evil acts. I really do not care how smart, how nice, a guy Mr. Sanders is, he is supposed to be Jennifer's advocate, what about her, and what about her children?

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