Wilson, who pleaded guilty to the 2008 murder of Rockmart resident Ronny Ferguson and the shooting of two others, is attempting to withdraw his guilty plea.
There have been three motions filed for a withdrawal of a guilty plea, according to court records. Two were by Wilson’s current attorney, James Wyatt of Rome, and one was submitted by Wilson himself in his own handwriting on June 30, 2009, after he pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial in May, court records state.
The two motions from his attorney state as reasons for withdrawing the plea that Wilson didn’t give his plea freely and voluntarily; that he didn’t understand the seriousness of the charges and consequences of a plea; and that he was misled into entering a guilty plea, according to court documents.
Wilson included those elements in his first handwritten motion to withdraw his plea, but also added several other reasons. Those reasons included what he described as the failure of prosecutors to disclose to the defense evidence that would have been favorable to him and that the process of jury selection was unconstitutional, which provoked him to a plea.
Wilson also stated he was “unlawfully induced by a promise from defense counsel” and was persuaded to a guilty plea by “ineffective, denial of effective assistance of counsel.”
His last hearing was rescheduled because his previous attorney, Victor Long, did not appear in court. Wilson’s defense attorney failed to contact him, according to the court.
Long was in court Tuesday. However, Murphy decided to reschedule the case again because Wyatt was held up by other court proceedings in Bartow County.
The district attorney’s office is attempting to work with all the attorneys' schedules to set a July 27 hearing date. Murphy said he would not set that date until all agree they can make it to court.
“Surely to goodness, we can get them here on a Friday when nothing else is going on,” Murphy said from the bench.
Ferguson’s family, who had attended three previous hearings, expressed frustration at another delay but said that would not deter them from coming to the next hearing.
Wilson’s guilty plea came in the middle of his 2009 trial after Fennell’s testimony put the gun in Wilson’s hands during the incident.
The charges Wilson pleaded to are felony murder, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Murphy, who was the judge in Wilson’s trial, sentenced Wilson to life with the possibility of parole on the murder charge, 20 years on the aggravated assault charge and five years on the firearm charge, totaling 125 years.
Court records in the motion to withdraw Wilson’s plea state his sentence was life without parole.
Kionte Rashad Glover, the 17-year-old with Wilson during the incident, was the second person convicted in the case after his April 2009 trial.
Glover was sentenced in May 2009 to life plus 25 years on charges that include felony murder, three aggravated assault charges, and a firearms charge.