DNA Tests Sought in Ga. Child Killings
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; 12:54 PM
ATLANTA -- Lawyers for Wayne Williams, blamed for the murders of two
dozen children and young men in the late 1970s and early '80s, have
asked to perform DNA testing on dog hair, human hair and blood.
A motion seeking the testing was filed Tuesday in Fulton County
Superior Court. Lawyer Jack Martin said in May that the defense planned
to make the request.
Martin also asked to test dog hair linking Williams to
prosecutors used to establish a killing pattern during the trial, even
though he wasn't charged in them.
|Between 1979 and
1981, 29 blacks, most of them boys, were killed in the Atlanta area,
spreading fear throughout the region.
Williams was convicted in 1982 of murdering Nathaniel Cater, 27, and
Jimmy Ray Payne, 21, and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
Afterward, officials declared Williams responsible for 22 other deaths,
and those cases were closed.
Williams, who is black, has contended he was framed. He has maintained
that officials covered up evidence of Ku Klux Klan involvement in the
killings to avoid a race war in the city, which investigators have
Witnesses testified during his trial that Williams was seen with some
of the victims, but he was convicted largely on fiber evidence.
His appeals have been repeatedly rebuffed. A federal judge last month
rejected Williams' request to reconsider evidence he claims points to
In the filing Tuesday, Martin asked to
perform DNA tests on hair
recovered from the clothing of Cater and Payne to compare it with dog
hair recovered from Williams' German shepherd, Sheba.
In this May 24, 1999, file photo, Wayne
Williams poses along the fence line at Valdosta Sate Prison, Valdosta,
Ga. Lawyers for Williams, blamed for the murders of two dozen children
and young men in the late 1970s and early '80s, have asked to perform
DNA testing on dog hair, human hair and blood. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
(John Bazemore - AP)
In May 2005, former DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham reopened
five murder cases, but the investigation stalled and was discontinued
after Graham resigned this year.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Tuesday he has not
decided whether to oppose the request for DNA testing, which could take
a few months.