Murder suspect Bill Lumpkin was denied bond Friday and an assistant district attorney said the state will consider seeking the death penalty.
Superior Court Judge Albert Pickett cited Mr. Lumpkin's alleged threats against fellow attorney Jacque Hawk as a factor in his decision to deny bond. Mr. Lumpkin is charged with murder in the slaying of Realtor Stan White.
"He is a possible threat to the community, at least to witnesses and maybe others," said Judge Pickett, who didn't rule out bond in the future.
Defense attorney Terry Jackson, claiming his client is innocent, called five witnesses who characterized Mr. Lumpkin as a trustworthy man with family values. About 50 to 100 neighbors and friends attended in Mr. Lumpkin's support.
Senior Assistant District Attorney William Bowcutt said the death penalty is being considered because of the brutality of the killing, which prosecutors say was premeditated.
Mr. Bowcutt presented the version of Mr. White's slaying presented to authorities by Augustus Williams, the state's witness, who according to authorities, helped load the body in Mr. Lumpkin's car outside his downtown law office.
Mr. Lumpkin telephoned Mr. Williams the day before the slaying to ask him for help with something, Mr. Bowcutt said. On Labor Day, the morning of the slaying, Mr. Lumpkin told Mr. Williams he would kill a man and needed help disposing of the body, Mr. Bowcutt said.
After Mr. White arrived at Mr. Lumpkin's law office on Sept. 2, Mr. Williams heard 20 to 25 thumps and Mr. Lumpkin exited the office and said, "Time flies when you're having fun," according to Mr. Williams' statements to police.
Mr. Williams also helped load the body and dispose of Mr. White's car, Mr. Bowcutt said. Also, evidence associated with the crime was found in Mr. Lumpkin's car and house, Mr. Bowcutt said.
Mr. Jackson, a trial lawyer from Savannah, questioned the character and veracity of the prosecution's star witness. Mr. Jackson said Mr. Williams is a long-time criminal who has been involved with drugs, dishonesty and forgery.