Family, defendant testify in child molestation case

by Wes Mayer

A man indicted on four counts of child molestation and eight counts of sexual exploitation of children took the stand in his defense Thursday in Coweta Superior Court.

The trial of defendant Willie Autrey Gray likely will conclude today.

On Thursday, attorneys completed their presentation of the evidence and both the state and defense brought forward witnesses.

Coweta Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer is presiding over the case. Continuing the prosecution Thursday, the state called Investigator Jason Fetner with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. Although Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Kevin McMurry is lead prosecutor in the case, Fetner was questioned by Assistant District Attorney Katie Doyle, who also assisted in the prosecution.

Fetner discussed his involvement in the investigation and search of Gray’s home when he was arrested in 2012.

As his last witness, McMurry called Vickie Adams with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Adams was questioned about her involvement in the case, and how she, a forensics computer analyst, analyzed Gray’s computers and discovered remnants of child pornography. Gray’s defense attorney, William D. Smith, also cross-examined Adams and asked her hypothetical questions about how files containing child porn could have gotten on the computer.

The victims’ father, Gray’s wife, other family members and friends of Gray were called to the stand by the defense. Smith questioned these witnesses on their opinions of Gray as a person and knowledge of the accusations against him. McMurry cross-examined several of these witnesses and asked the question of whether they would feel the same way about Gray if they knew child pornography was on his computer.

Gray then testified in his own defense and was on the stand for more than an hour-and-a-half while he was questioned by both Smith and McMurry.

Because it was after 6 p.m. on Thursday by the time the entirety of the evidence was presented, Palmer chose to adjourn court and resume today at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the charges against Gray. Attorneys then will make their closing arguments and the case will be turned over to the jury for deliberation.

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