Phelps family "waits for justice" as murder trial continued - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phelps family "waits for justice" as murder trial continued

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ALBANY, GA - (WALB) -

The murder trial for Jordan Harris was initially scheduled to start Monday, but a judge continued it.

Albany Business owner and former Lee County Commissioner Walter Phelps died almost four years ago.

His family says it's time for justice.

Walter Phelps' family said they were all going to be in the courtroom together when Jordan Harris' murder trial was to begin Monday, but now they are again waiting.

Marc Phelps said almost four years after his father Walter's death, his family is still waiting to receive justice.

Phelps said "46 months anyway. We're ready for a conclusion. We really feel justice delayed is really no justice at all."

Jordan Harris is currently serving a life sentence plus 20 years for two armed robbery convictions in Dougherty County and one in Lee County. Harris was released from Lee County jail on electronic monitoring in July, 2010 when Prosecutors say he shot Walter Phelps while robbing his hardware store. Surveillance video shows Harris and others using Phelps' credit card later that day at a Valdosta store, still wearing that electronic monitor. But Harris' trial was continued because one of the witnesses may have made a statement in another county about the crime, and prosecutors had to verify the statement first. The Phelps family is also suing Professional Monitoring Services, the electronic monitoring company for Lee County at the time. That lawsuit is also on hold until the murder trial conclusion.

Phelps family attorney Joe Durham said "They want the case resolved. They need justice through the criminal system, in a lot of ways before we can really even press forward with the civil case."

But for now the Phelps family continues to wait, saying it only prolongs the tragedy of their father's death.

Phelps said "The soon the trial portion of this change in our lives can come to an end, we'll have a little closure there."

Phelps said there is no way his family can get over their father's murder, until Harris' murder trial and their lawsuit are concluded.

Prosecutors said Monday they hope to hold Jordan Harris' murder trial before the end of the summer.

Prosecutors say two more Dougherty County men were wearing electronic monitors when they committed another murder.

Kavorious and Demetrice Price were on house arrest when investigators say they gunned down Jamey Spurlock December 22nd during an armed robbery after he got a flat tire in East Albany.

Court records show they were able to block their monitor signals, but Judicial Electronic Monitoring Services did not report the blocked signal to 9-1-1 immediately.

The Price brothers remain in jail without bond.

That company is still in charge of keeping track of people released from jail with electronic monitors in Dougherty County.

Chief Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette said judges continue to use monitoring to keep the jail population under control. He didn't want to speak on camera but said they are keeping a close eye on the situation following the Spurlock murder.

The attorney for the Spurlock and the Phelps families said people need to be concerned.

Joe Durham said "That's alarming to us quite frankly. We have here a clear case that they weren't doing their job. It needs to be handled. It needs to be addressed, and it needs to be done sooner rather than later."

Durham said the Spurlock family will soon file a lawsuit against Judicial Electronic Monitoring Services. The company did not return our phone calls Monday.

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