Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Judge Won't Allow New Trial for 'Toolbox' Killer; Supreme Court Says It Made a Mistake in a Case Used in Glean's Hearing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Judge Won't Allow New Trial for 'Toolbox' Killer; Supreme Court Says It Made a Mistake in a Case Used in Glean's Hearing

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK - A judge has denied a request for a new trial from one of three men convicted in the Ware County toolbox murder case nearly 20 years ago because the Georgia Supreme Court admits it was wrong in an earlier decision.

Chief Superior Court Judge Dwayne Gillis rejected former lawyer Michael Glean's motion to void his conviction in the slaying of Kimberly Wallace, who was the estranged wife of one of Glean's clients.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Nov. 23, 2009, reversed itself on an unrelated case that it had used in ruling that Glean was entitled to a hearing to determine if he warranted a new trial.

In a written opinion acknowledging it erred, the high court said, "Courts must sometimes reconsider what has been already carefully considered, and rectify their own mistakes."

In July 2008, the high court issued an opinion overturning a 100-year-old tenet of Georgia law. In that ruling, the court said motions to void a judgment in a criminal case are an appropriate way to appeal a conviction.

The court cited that decision on Oct. 5, 2009, when it sent Glean's case back to Ware County for a hearing on his motion to throw out his conviction.

But the justices later ruled their earlier decision was deficient. That led Gillis to deny Glean's motion on Jan. 26.

District Attorney Rick Currie, who helped prosecute the case, said Glean was never entitled to a hearing.

"You have to have a point in criminal cases - and the families of the victims deserve this - where you reach final judgment. There cannot be endless appeals," Currie said.

Juries imported to Ware County convicted Glean, Jack Ray Wallace and Frederick Speas of murder after deputies found the nude body of Wallace's estranged wife, Kimberly, in a toolbox aboard a plane at the Ware County airport in 1990.

Known as the "toolbox murder case," the slaying was considered one of the most notable in Georgia history.

A BITTER PARTING

At the time, Wallace was a wealthy Powder Springs chiropractor embroiled in an acrimonious divorce from Kimberly, his third wife. …

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