The Newton County District Attorney’s Office has announced that they intend to seek the death penalty for 22-year-old Pablo Fernando Maldonado, the man authorities consider the ringleader in the murder of Conyers landscaper Timothy Clements.
The three other accused in Clements’ death went before Judge Horace Johnson Jr. Thursday. Wynne had an issue with supplying defense attorneys with the state’s evidence in the case because he did not want that information shared with Maldonado’s counsel. He requested either a delay in supplying defense attorneys with certain parts of the state’s evidence or that they agree not to share that evidence with Maldonado’s attorneys.
"I think I have a legitimate concern," said Wynne.
According to Wynne 18-year-old Brittney Michelle Beasley, 19-year-old Christian Perion Caldwell and 16-year-old Katria Luche McClain’s attorneys have filed the appropriate paperwork that will allow the prosecution to be privy to the evidence they have obtained when the district attorney’s office supplies them with its evidence in the case. Maldonado’s attorneys however, have not and Wynne does not want them to have the state’s evidence without sharing what they have with the prosecution as well.
Defense attorneys Bryan Frost (Beasley), Ryan J. Swingle (Caldwell) and Charles Barrow (McClain), agreed to this, but wanted to make sure they could speak with Maldonado’s attorneys if they felt it necessary to do so in order to best defend their clients.
Johnson stated he did not feel it was appropriate to hold the discovery evidence from the defense and encouraged the lawyers to work something out. Frost said he did not have a problem keeping the discovery evidence from Maldonado’s attorneys but did want to be able to speak with them about the case if the need arose.
Barrow objected, saying that it could potentially "tie our hands."
Swingle also voiced concerns, saying that while he did not have a problem not sharing evidence with Maldonado’s counsel, he did not want to be prohibited from conversation with them.
Eventually an agreement was reached with all four attorneys and signed in front of the judge, and Wynne agreed to provide Frost, Barrow and Swingle with the discovery evidence before the end of next week.
Barrow, who had previously requested bond be granted for McClain since she was reportedly not present at the time of the actual murder or when Clements’ body was dumped in Snapping Shoals Creek off Ga. Highway 81 in June, once again brought the subject up to the judge. Johnson had previously denied the teenager bond, but invited Barrow to bring the issue back up in the future.
McClain has been charged as an adult in the case, but has been housed in a juvenile facility since her arrest because of her age. However on Dec. 15, she will turn 17-years-old and is reportedly scheduled to move from the juvenile facility to the Newton County Jail.
"My purpose is to try and get her bond so she won’t go to the county jail," explained Barrow.
Although there was no new evidence to present to the judge that would sway him in favor of bond, Barrow once again requested it, telling the court that McClain had signed up and been admitted to a home-school program, and that she would be in constant supervision of her mother. He also said they would agree to monitoring devices such as an ankle bracelet that would allow authorities to keep track of McClain at all times.
Wynne brought up the fact that McClain had fled the state with Beasley, Caldwell and Maldonado following the murder.
"That’s a big concern and we ask that bond be denied," he said, telling the court that he believed McClain posed a flight risk should she be granted bond.
Johnson reminded Barrow that although he assured the court that McClain’s mother would be in the home with her, she had also been in the home in June when the crime occurred.
"Her actions still speak loudest," said Johnson, as McClain quietly wiped at her tears. "Bond denied."
McClain, Caldwell, Beasley and Maldonado are all charged with murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. Caldwell, Beasley and Maldonado are additionally charged with concealing the death of another and forgery in the second degree. Maldonado is also charged with aggravated battery and theft by taking.