Saturday, April 8, 2006
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE - The trial for Dacula dentist Barton Corbin has been postponed until September while the Georgia Supreme Court ponders an appeal.
Superior Court Judge Michael C. Clark on Friday granted a defense motion to appeal his ruling allowing similar transaction evidence to be presented in Corbin's trial for the shooting death of Corbin's wife, Jennifer, on Dec. 4, 2004.
If the ruling stands, prosecutors would be able to tell jurors in Gwinnett about an unrelated case in Richmond County, where Corbin is accused of killing his college girlfriend, Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn, 16 years ago. Prosecutors would present that evidence in an effort to show that the cases were similar, thus implicating Corbin as the perpetrator in both deaths.
Corbin's attorneys argue that Jennifer Corbin and Hearn committed suicide.
Both women died of a single gunshot wound to the head in their homes, and police believe their deaths were staged to look like suicides.
The trial was set to begin April 17, but Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter agreed with defense attorneys that it should be postponed so the issue of similar transactions could be taken up by the state Supreme Court. The trial was tentatively reset for Sept. 8.
"For a case of this magnitude, we're moving pretty fast," Porter said. "I'd rather do it right than fast."
Jennifer Corbin's two adult sisters, her parents and Hearn's parents all attended Friday's hearing but did not speak to reporters afterward. Corbin's attorneys also did not comment following the hearing.
Jury selection for the case is expected to take about eight days and the trial could take weeks.