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Two death penalty cases in February
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Two accused murderers will have their death penalty cases heard in Newton County Superior Court February.

Rodney Renia Young, 43, has been in the Newton County Detention Center since 2008 after being charged in the bludgeoning death of his ex-fiancée's son, 28-year-old Gary Lamar Jones.

According to the prosecution, Jones came home from church and was attacked. His mother found him when she came home from work around 11:30 p.m., bound to a chair, stabbed in the neck and bludgeoned with a hammer.

Young has pleaded not guilty and will be defended by attorneys from the Georgia Capital Defender's Office. His case will be heard in the courtroom of Judge Samuel Ozburn beginning Feb. 6. Requests from Young's attorneys to continue the case until March were denied Wednesday.

The death penalty case against 24-year-old Pablo Fernando Maldonado is scheduled to be heard in the courtroom of Judge Horace Johnson, Jr beginning Feb. 25.

Maldonado is accused of acting as ringleader in the 2009 murder of Conyers landscaper Timothy Clements. He, along with three others - Christian Caldwell, 19; Brittney Beasley, 20; and Katria McClain, 18 - are accused of kidnapping Clements, robbing him and then killing him, dumping his wrapped body in Snapping Shoals Creek. They reportedly stole his truck and fled to Alabama. According to McClain, who took a plea deal last year, the group planned the murder out the night before.

A request from Maldonado's attorneys - who are also from the Capital Defender's Office - for a change of venue in October was denied.