Court gavel

Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones has submitted his proposed Top 10 list of major cases to be tried this year to the county's two circuit court judges, who will ultimately decide the trial order.

Jones told The News Courier on Friday he is asking to first try the codefendants in a July 25, 2017, botched robbery that left 27-year-old Brenton C. Gatlin dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Kandes Elizabeth Lambert, 29, of 19675 Looney Road, Athens; Terry Dale Amerson, 25, of 712 Horton St., Athens; and Marty Gene Stafford II, 31, of 21940 E. Bean Road, Athens, were all charged in Gatlin's murder.

Stafford was convicted of felony murder in the case in January and is awaiting sentencing March 5. He is facing 20 to 99 years in prison.

Jones said he would know the order in which the major cases will be tried soon.

The case

Athens police responded to Horton's home at 712 Horton St. shortly before 10 p.m. July 25. They found Gatlin inside with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken by ambulance to Athens-Limestone Hospital, where he later died. Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said at the time Gatlin was acquainted with the suspects, and police believed he was shot while being robbed.

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