Prosecutors say a plea agreement could be reached as early as this week in the case against Joshua Glen Layman.
Layman, 27, is charged in the 2003 stabbing death of Cameron Green of Gainesville. Green’s decomposing body was found down an embankment in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area in July 2003. He had been stabbed several times.
Layman has admitted being there when Green died, and to driving Green’s vehicle after his death, but has maintained he did not kill him.
The case has gone to the Georgia Supreme Court on appeals three times.
The anticipated plea comes just two weeks before jury selection is scheduled to begin in Dawson County Superior Court.
Assistant District Attorney John Wilbanks said it is the position of the district attorney’s office, as in most cases of this magnitude, to try plea negotiations with defendants rather than going to court, which can be expensive for taxpayers.
“We have a court reporter in court this week if we can get this before a judge,” Wilbanks said.
If a deal cannot be reached, the Layman trial is set to begin Sept. 29 before senior Superior Court Judge John Girardeau, who retired in 2005, but helps the district’s four full-time judges.
Due to state-mandated budget cuts, Georgia recently suspended the use of senior superior court judges, who earn a per diem of about $500 a day.
For a trial expected to last between two and four weeks, Dawson County would more than likely have to cover the costs to have Girardeau preside over the case.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.