-Jeremy Stewart, Polk Standard Journal-
This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.
After four years of waiting, it appears that progress in the pending trial of a man accused in the shooting death of four people in Rockmart in early 2019 may begin moving in the next few weeks.
A motion hearing is set for Sept. 7 in the case of Daylon Delon Gamble after it was originally scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24, according to Polk County Clerk of Court Stacey Baines. A status hearing for the case has been scheduled for Oct. 2.
The reason for the rescheduled hearing was not immediately available on Wednesday.
Gamble is charged in connection with two separate shootings that occurred in January 2019 in the area of Martin Luther King Junior Street west of downtown Rockmart. Another victim was shot but survived.
Gamble was arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana, days after reportedly fleeing from Rockmart after the shootings. He was captured and brought back to Polk County. Tallapoosa Circuit District Attorney Jack Browning has filed his intent to seek the death penalty in the case.
Gamble is represented by the Georgia Capital Defender office, a division of the Georgia Public Defender Council that is assigned to those who face the death penalty.
Chief Superior Court Judge Mark Murphy is overseeing the case, which has been drawn out because of several factors, but the primary factors in the delay has been caused by the pause in trial hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic and the protocol in trying a death penalty case.
Murphy, who serves as chief superior court judge for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit which also includes Haralson County, was assigned the case last September following a series of events that led to former chief superior court judge Meng Lim losing re-election and resigning.
In a status hearing in January, Murphy spent a majority of the time reviewing the Unified Appeal Procedure as set forth by the Georgia Supreme Court. The UAP provides a checklist of motions that have to be reviewed to ensure a defendant’s constitutional rights are being upheld during a death penalty trial.
Also in the January hearing, Murphy suggested that the case could come to trial during the first quarter of 2024. While that’s possible it’s unlikely at this point, but it may go to trial later in the year.