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Wheels of justice grind on in trial over Putnam County correctional officer killings

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga.-- Red tape continues to put a hold on a four-year case involving two Georgia State Prisoners who killed two on-duty officers.

On June 2, the wheels of justice turned slightly after a hearing for Ricky Dubose. In about an hour and a half, one decision was made.

In previous hearings, the defense asked for about 82 different evidence documents from the state. They received all but 12 papers.

The prosecution, who are state attorneys, said that the 12 documents they didn’t share were either not available or were privileged information that couldn’t be shared.

The hearing on June 2 was just to determine whether or not the case could proceed with the defense only having 70 of the documents they asked for instead of all 82.

The presiding judge, Alison Burleson, determined that they could.

"I will grant the department’s motion to quash the remaining items that are outstanding," said Burleson. "You all have been very cooperative to produce much more than you had to, to which the defendant is entitled, which makes my job easier in moving the case along. I appreciate your cooperation but I am going to grant the motion to quash on what’s remaining."

This is all from a case that began in 2017.

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe were prisoners being transferred on a Georgia state prison bus when investigators say they overpowered two officers, took their guns, and shot them to death. They then escaped and were caught in Tennessee a few days later.

The two are charged with the murder of police officers Curtis Billue and Christopher Monica and are facing the death penalty.

This isn’t the first time the process has been slowed down. In February, defense attorneys argued that a fair trial couldn’t be held during a pandemic. The trial isn’t set to begin at all until at least May of 2022 after every issue like this has been cleared up.

Through all of this, Billue’s sister, Denise, and Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, have voiced their disappointment in how long it’s taking.

"Overall, I feel that things are moving at a pace, where if I were in charge, I would like for them to move a bit faster," said Billue. "But, we want to make sure that every I is dotted and every T is crossed."

Billue said that the most recent hearing had special significance for her, since her father passed away just days before.

"I used to have two angels with me in the courtroom. Now I feel like I have three." Billue's mother has also passed.

She says she will continue to attend every court proceeding until justice is served for her brother.

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We also spoke with the Monica family. They have had a representative at each hearing and will have a presence in the courtroom until the trial process is complete.

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