Pair of local murder cases set for trial

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Two men are scheduled to face juries this week in a pair of unrelated murder trails.

Jury selection in both trials is set to begin Monday, a representative with the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office said Friday.

The oldest case involves the October 2007 shooting death of Amy Lee Ayer, 43, a Lawrenceville mother.

Ayer's boyfriend, David Robert Norton, 41, is charged with killing her, then attempting to cover his tracks by burning down her Sentinel Parkway home.

Ayer's two teenage sons came home from school to discover the home burning.

Firefighters were able to limit the blaze to the home's second story, where Ayer's body lay, authorities said at the time.

Norton was arrested at a Days Inn Suites in Norcross less than 24 hours after authorities discovered the body. He faces counts of murder, aggravated assault, first-degree arson and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil will preside, with Assistant District Attorney Rich Vandever prosecuting, according to the DA's Office.

The second trial involves an alleged drug deal turned bloodbath at a Stone Mountain apartment complex in January last year.

The alleged triggerman -- Malcolm Johnson, 20, of Stone Mountain -- should face charges of murder and aggravated assault this week.

Police linked Johnson and two accomplices to the murder of South Carolina resident Dedric Daquan Thompson, 28, and the attempted murder of another man from that state.

Both victims were found in a parking area of the Highland Grove apartments near U.S. Highway 78. Thompson died slumped over in the passenger seat of a gold Acura, while the survivor was found about 10 feet away in a pool of blood. Both victims were shot in the head, police said.

Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers is slated to preside in Johnson's trial, with Assistant District Attorney Chuck Ross prosecuting.