January 9, 2013

VIDEO: Jail murder suspects begin preliminary hearings

Surveillance video reveals homicide in cell block

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


WARNING: Video content is of a graphic nature and may be offensive to some viewers.

A preliminary hearing was held yesterday for Grady County inmate Grant Curry who is accused of participating in the May 17, 2012 murder of federal inmate Anthony Mollman in the Grady County Jail.

This is the second of seven hearing surrounding the death of Mollman. Currently, all seven suspects are charged with murder in the first degree.

A phone call that Curry made to his then girlfriend from jail at the time of the crime was played during today's hearing. Curry elaborates on how he "smashed" Mollman. Curry said in the phone call that Mollman continuously claimed to be the girl's uncle. After questioning his then girlfriend whether Mollman was her uncle, Curry finished the conversation with a statement of threatening intent.

"Well that puts him in a real bad position," Curry said during the phone call.

Man beaten to death in jail

Video surveillance from the jail shows the involvement of seven inmates from the Grady County Jail participated in the events that lead to the death of Mollman.

The video identified the seven inmates as Curry, Cody Sitlington, Matthew Jackson, Steven Nidey, Michael Herron, Joseph Hill and Jerry Gonzales. An affidavit released by Grady County states that the attack lasted 14 minutes and of the six individuals involved, three were primary attackers of Mollman.

"Prior to the attack Sitlington is observed going into Mollman's cell with Curry and the door is closed," the affidavit reads. "Following the meeting, Sitlington is observed going upstairs with Curry, Mollman and Jackson to Curry and Jackson's cell. Jackson and Curry's cell was where the attack on Mollman began."

The affidavit elaborates that Sitlington actively tried to prevent Mollman from exiting the cell when the attack begins and further participating in the attack.

"Sitlington is observed pulling Mollman towards the door jam of Jackson and Curry's cell and slamming Mollman's head into it," the affidavit reads.

The video also reveals Sitlington dragging Mollman's unconscious body into Hill's cell. The video also shows one of the inmates using a towel to wipe down an area where Mollman collapsed.

Reason remains unclear

Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks said motive is still under investigation.

Assistant District Attorney Leah Edwards said information regarding Mollman as a federal witness came forward during the two preliminary hearings this week and were not facts given out by the DA's office.

Sitlington was the other suspect that received a preliminary hearing this week. Both Curry and Sitlington has several prior state convictions.

Edwards said each defendant will receive their respective preliminary hearings over the next two weeks.

The affidavit identifies Mollman as a federal defendant in a DEA led narcotics investigation.