The wife of a Cartersville man accused of murdering his stepson in March testified in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.
The deposition of Patricia Ann Posey was video recorded in the courtroom of Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge D. Scott Smith, although he was not present during the roughly hourlong questioning.
“Once the motion was consented to, you actually could have conducted this anywhere,” he told the prosecution and the defense. “Because if it’s the taking of a deposition, you can do that in office, in a grand jury room, you didn’t necessarily have to be in the courtroom — I’m not looking at this as an official court procedure, it’s more or less a deposition being conducted in a courtroom.”
Before he excused himself from the bench, Judge Smith noted that all formalities were waived for the deposition, adding that all objections would be stated on the record, but with rulings reserved for the actual trial.
Defendant Gary Thomas Posey, 73, is charged with the murder of 50-year-old Eric Wayne Martin. Bartow County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) data indicates the shooting took place on March 28 at Posey’s residence along Sugar Valley Road.
The defendant is also facing one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
“My husband didn’t like my son,” Patricia Ann Posey said on the witness stand. “He said that I cared more for my son than I did him.”
She told Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Sharon Fox that both her son and her husband had been drinking alcohol prior to the fatal shooting.
The witness recounted her husband entering the bedroom moments before the shooting.
“He said ‘I’m getting my gun, I’m going to shoot him,’” she said. “I was still groggy from trying to get woke up at this, I didn’t know if he was going to shoot somebody, maybe trying to break in.”
She said she followed her husband down the hallway and saw the defendant open fire in front of the doorway of her son’s bedroom.
“I went into Eric’s room and saw him laying there,” she told the prosecution. “I saw blood, I saw his eyes wide open — it was like staring at the wall.”
She recounted shaking her son’s knee.
“I knew he was gone,” she testified. “I picked up the phone and I called 911.”
She alleges the defendant again remarked “you care more for him than you do me,” stating that he, too, had been shot.
The witness said the defendant allegedly showed no emotions after the shooting.
The defendant was on the phone with a 911 operator when law enforcement arrived at the residence.
“I heard him say ‘They want me to come out, I’ve got to go now,’” the witness recalled.
During Tuesday’s deposition, Wade asked the witness if her husband had any major medical problems. She said he was diabetic and took pills to help him sleep. She also said her husband frequently exhibited memory problems.
The witness said she could not recall how many gunshots she heard.
“The only time I heard the gunshot was when I heard Gary shoot,” she said. “I’m still asleep and I didn’t know if I could hear it echoing or what in my head.”
The defendant was present in the courtroom for the deposition. On several occasions he shook his head at his spouse’s statements. When the witness was questioned regarding how long her husband owned the gun allegedly used in the shooting, the defendant gestured toward the witness stand and held up several fingers.
The State objected to a question Wade asked the witness regarding her other son, as well as a question Wade asked the witness concerning her deceased son’s employment history.
Judge Smith noted that both the prosecution and the defense would be billed for court reporter services.
“Since this is not a trial, so to speak, as of yet, then ya’ll will get an invoice if you want this transcribed,” Smith told Wade. “You can certainly turn this into the County, because of the indigent status of Mr. Posey.”
The defendant’s bond was set at $250,000 earlier this year. Among other conditions, if released from pretrial detention he is ordered to refrain from having any contact with his spouse or residing in a home with firearms.