DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey told lawyers in the death penalty case of William Woodard that it was time to move forward with trial.
“I’m ready to proceed with this case,” he said at an Aug. 14 status hearing.
Coursey told Woodard lawyers and DeKalb prosecutors that that there has been enough delay in the four-year-old case.
The police officers, who worked at the Souht Precinct, were gunned down at the Glenwood Garden Apartments in Decatur on Jan. 15, 2008, when they were working off-duty jobs.
Barker, 33, and Bryant, 26, were the first two DeKalb police officers to lose their lives in the line of duty at the same time.
The trial date was originally set for Aug. 29, but Woodard’s lawyer, William Morrison tried to have the case pushed back to December.
“The criteria, the deadline and everything taken into consideration in a death penalty case is different,” Morrison said. “We will do everything that we can to have this case ready to be tried on Dec. 15.”
Coursey didn’t buy his argument and set trial for Oct. 1.
“That gives you plenty of time to get ready,” the Judge said.
Prosecutors say the trial has been delayed so long because of “rotation of counsel” for Woodard.
Coursey was also the newly-assigned to case, which was previously before Judge Gail Flake. Woodard lawyers filed a motion on July 23 requesting that Flake recuse herself because of her bid for re-election.
Flake, won reelection on July 31, defeating opponent Michael Rothenberg who was indicted July 17 on six felony counts of theft by taking.
In the motion, Woodard lawyers stated that Flake was placed in the “untenable position” of serving as the trial court judge in Woodard’s death penalty case.
The motion was granted on Aug. 2.