- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - An Atlanta-area judge on Wednesday declined a request by lawyers for a man accused of fatally shooting three homeless men and a hairdresser that their client not be shackled when news media are present.

A lawyer for Aeman Presley, 35, argued Wednesday that media images of a shackled Presley could prejudice potential jurors by making them think he’s dangerous. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams noted Presley wasn’t shackled during the motions hearing Wednesday but denied the request, saying he would leave it up to courtroom deputies to determine what restraints are necessary.

Adams did grant a defense request that Presley not appear in jail garb during court appearances as long as his attorneys provide other clothes and agreed to have proceedings in the case recorded and transcribed.

Attorneys on Wednesday argued more than two dozen motions in the case, which deals with the killing of 53-year-old Calvin Gholston as he slept in an alleyway near a DeKalb County shopping center on Sept. 27, 2014. The case is set for trial Feb. 29, and Presley faces charges including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

DeKalb County prosecutors indicted Presley separately in the slaying of 44-year-old Karen Pearce on Dec. 6. Police say Presley robbed and killed her as she walked to her car in downtown Decatur, right next to Atlanta, after dinner with friends. He faces charges including malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault in Pearce’s slaying. No trial date has been set.

DeKalb County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in Pearce’s killing, but not in Gholston’s death.

Prosecutors in neighboring Fulton County are seeking the death penalty against Presley in the killing of two homeless men shot to death as they slept outside. Dorian Jenkins, 42, was killed Nov. 23, followed by Tommy Mims, 68, on Nov. 26. Presley faces charges including murder, felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Fulton County and no trial date has been set in that case.

Presley has pleaded not guilty in all three cases.


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