Trial date set in Waters case
Trial date has been set and a number of pre-trial motions have been filed in the case of George Steven Waters, who is charged with three counts of first degree murder following incidents seemingly centered around a family feud last August.
Trial date has been set and a number of pre-trial motions have been filed in the case of George Steven Waters, who is charged with three counts of first degree murder following incidents seemingly centered around a family feud last August. Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Waters for the murder of Wanda Waters, her husband Willard Waters, and their son Marion Doug Waters. The victims were the aunt, uncle, and cousin of the accused. Pre-trial motions are scheduled for May 19 and jury selection will begin May 20, 2014. The case is being heard by Judge Amy Reedy.
Motions filed by Attorney Scott Kanavos on behalf of George Steven Waters include a request to sequester the jury, which has been agreed to. The motion to sequester included a request that jurors not be allowed to communicate with anyone other than the court and bailiffs and that all communications devices be restricted in order that jurors could not have contact with media or other sources in the outside world.
Other motions filed by Kanavos include a motion to preserve evidence, “to preserve and keep in tact any investigative reports (including rough drafts or rough notes), witness statements, documents, papers, tape-recordings, computer data,” or other physical evidence in possession by the state. The motion says the request is being made so a thorough and complete determination can be made regarding requirements of disclosure of the materials.
The defendant also entered a motion to inspect, examine, and test physical evidence pertinent to the case. Reports of examinations and tests of all evidence in possession of the state were requested according to the rules of criminal procedure and the state has complied with the request. The state has also complied with a request made by Waters to furnish Kanavos with copies of relevant written and recorded statements made by the defendant while in custody, either before or after arrest.
Along with the motions, Waters has filed a Notice of Intent to reply on Defense of Third Person at trial and has made a request for the plea of defense of a third person to be included in the jury instruction. According to the court filing, Kanavos intends to show Waters was not engaged in any illegal activity on his father’s property at the time of the alleged offenses, where he had an absolute right to be present. As such, the filing states, “Defendant was under no legal duty to retreat and used reasonable force in response to provocation and aggression initiated by the deceased in this case.” The filing goes on to say Waters was “legally entitled to the use of force, even deadly force, to protect himself and his father.”
According to court documents, Waters intends to rely on self-defense at the trial and “had reasonable belief that he was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.”
Another filing reserves the right to future filings, alleging “although discovery has been provided, the timeliness of the State in meeting the defendant’s request has been such as to preclude the defendant’s attorney’s and his experts from reviewing, examining, and testing the evidence” to prepare for trial. The motion also includes allegation that the complexity og the charges brought by the state “compels a continuing analysis of the matierals discovered and in the process of discovery, which may well lead to the necessity of additional substantive motions.”
Waters was released on $375,000 bond with the conditions that he be ordered to wear a GPS monitor, not to have any conduct with the family or be on the property of the victim, and not leave the 10th Judicial District. Early in September, Waters underwent a heart surgery in regards to a pacemaker, during which time the monitor was removed. It was replaced immediately after the procedure.
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