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D. Coulter pleads guilty in Futch double homicide
Dustin Coulter
     A murder trial slated to begin Monday was canceled after a man charged in the double homicide entered a guilty plea.
      Dustin Coulter, one of three charged in the Nov. 21, 2005 murders of Jack and Paula Futch, pled guilty Friday just before 3 p.m., said Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Scott Brannen, lead prosecutor in the case.
      Two others charged in the murders, Jerry Easters and Alex Futch Coulter, pled guilty in June, agreeing to testify about the murders in exchange for sentences of life without parole instead of the death penalty.
Alex Coulter is Jack Futch's daughter and is married to Dustin Coulter.
      Dustin Coulter initially chose to seek a jury trial, which was set to begin Monday. However, after a full day of jury selection Thursday, which lasted well past 6 p.m., he entered his plea of guilty to both charges of murder, asking the court to dismiss charges of armed robbery and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, Brannen said.
      Coulter also asked the court to consider the sentence of two life sentences, one for each count of murder, to run concurrently, Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. Turner sentenced him to the two concurrent life sentences, and Coulter will be eligible for parole, he said.
      The court nolle prossed the other charges, meaning the charges will not be officially prosecuted, Brannen said.
      After Alex Coulter and Easters pled guilty in June, the courts removed the death penalty prosecution against Dustin Coulter as well, as part of the plea bargain, he said.
      Brannen said court documents include a statement by Coulter in which he admits his wife, Alex Coulter, typed messages onto a phone screen as text messages, but did not send them, stating she "wanted her parents dead that night."
      Coulter's statement tells how Ms. Coulter had him pick Easters up and deliver him to the Futch home on Windmere Drive, off Ga. 46 near Kennedy Pond, where Ms. Coulter was also staying. He also said in the statement Easters called him hours afterward, asking Coulter to pick him up near the Huddle House on Interstate 16 and Ga. 67.
      He said he and Easters "picked up a bag off the side of a dirt road" that contained items Easters took from the Futch home during the murder/burglary incident, Brannen said.

Easters shared murder details in June
     In court testimony last summer, Easters said Alex Coulter told him she wanted the murders done before the closing on the sale of the house Jack and Paula Futch owned.
      During that testimony Easters said Coulter picked him up from his Marvin Drive home and took him to the Futch home, where he found Alex Coulter " laying on the couch," and said she asked him if he had a weapon. He did not, he said.
      "She directed me to the kitchen and told me to get a knife" and told him to kill both Jack and Paula Futch.
      After Easters killed the couple, he told the court he tied Alex Coulter up, scratched her neck with the knife and slapped her to make the staged assault appear more realistic.
      Then she asked him to ransack the home, taking certain items including pills and jewelry, but avoiding items such as a lap top computer and cell phone because they had GPS devices that could be tracked.   "She wanted it to look as if she was a victim also," he said.
      Easters told how he took Paula Futch's van and the stolen items and left, saying Ms. Coulter was to give him enough time to get away before calling police. He left the van on Old Groveland Road and called Dustin Coulter to pick him up, he said.
      Bulloch County Clerk of Courts officials said court documents regarding the Futch murder case will be available Monday.

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