Son: Can't get a fair trial for Dad's murder -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Son: Can't get a fair trial for Dad's murder

March 14, 2003

Albany-- On September 13, 1990, 83-year-old William Henry Scheer was hit in the head with a golf club in an upstairs bedroom of the home he shared with his son's family. Twelve years later, Bill Scheer was arrested and charged with his murder.

The long-time teacher and coach is well known in the community. So is the murder charge.

That's why his lawyer asked a judge for a change of venue for his trial. Bill Scheer and his wife Deborah sat quietly while his attorney Pete Donaldson made a motion to move his upcoming murder trial out of Dougherty County. Donaldson said "There have been 12 years of rumor, inuendo, and whispered comments. And we don't belive that we are going to have a jury pool that won't be infected with people who have preconceived notions."

Donaldson told Judge Stephen Goss that too many people in Dougherty County have already made up about his guilt or innocence. He wants to go “Anywhere where we can have 12 people who have not been infected by rumor and whispered comments."

Donaldson argued that pretrial publicity and community talk over that period of time would keep Scheer from receiving a fair trial.

District Attorney Ken Hodges says there is no need for a change of venue. Hodges said "I believe that there can be a jury that can be fairly selected in Dougherty County, so I think the issue is premature."

Judge Stephen Goss said he would rule on the change of venue motion next week. Scheer's lawyer also introduced a motion to suppress evidence taken from a wiretap on Bill Scheer's phone before his arrest.

Judge Goss delayed the hearing on that motion.

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