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Sammons retrial set
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    The retrial of a woman convicted in 1999 of killing her husband is set to begin Monday immediately after jury selection, said Bulloch County Clerk Teresa Tucker.
    The retrial was scheduled, then postponed last year  due to an appeal made by the Bulloch County Superior Court protesting a state Supreme Court ruling to block statements made in the original trial.  
    Edith Tillyne Sammons was convicted in 1999 of shooting and running over her estranged husband, Gregory Cooper Sammons, July 8, 1998.
    She was granted a retrial on grounds that a juror was switched without her knowledge or permission.
     During the 1999 trial, testimony included details of how she pretended to have vehicle trouble, waited for Cooper Sammons to drive past on is way to meet her for counseling, and shot him, then ran over him after he stopped to help.  
    The week-long trial in 1999 was filled with testimony from investigators and witnesses including the Sammons’ children and a witness who was a teenager at the time and admitted to an affair between him and Ms. Sammons.
    The teen was black, and Sammons is white.  
    This posed a problem with a juror, who expressed discomfort with the issues of sex and race, according to records.
    The juror, who met with a judge regarding the issues, was dismissed and replaced, And, since the prosecution switched out a juror without Ms. Sammons’  knowledge or consent, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman S. Fletcher reversed her conviction.
    In a summary posted on Internet web site, he wrote   “because the trial court replaced a juror following an ex parte meeting at which Sammons was not present, and to which she did not consent, we reverse and remand for a new trial.”
       In previous interviews, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Keith McIntyre said the district attorney’s office filed an appeal against a  Supreme Court ruling that certain statements by Sammons during the original trial would not be permitted in the retrial.
     During the original trial, Sammons gave conflicting accounts of what transpired during Cooper Sammons’ murder. Her counsel asked that statements she made after consulting with her attorney at the time, Sam Brannen, not be included in the retrial. McIntyre appealed the  Supreme Court ruling that two particular statements be excluded from the retrial, he said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.  
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