Another round of pre-trial hearings are scheduled in Judge Billy Sparks’ courtroom Monday concerning Floyd County’s lone death penalty case.
Timothy Tyrone Foster, who is now 51, was sentenced to death in 1987 for the murder of retired school teacher Queen Madge White during a burglary at her home at Highland Circle — he was 18 at the time of the incident.
The 79-year-old woman had been attacked and molested before being strangled to death.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction two years ago, on the grounds of black jurors being excluded from his original trial.
Once his conviction was overturned, Foster was moved back to the Floyd County Jail from Georgia’s death row in Jackson. In 2018 the state expressed its intent to seek the death penalty and the lengthy process began again.
Another round of hearings took place in October 2018 which is part of a process called the Unified Appeal, essentially a checklist designed to protect a defendant’s rights.
The bevy of motions discussed in Floyd County Superior Court in October covered a wide range of topics including attempting to suppress Foster’s comments after his arrest to general challenges to the constitutionality of the death penalty and lethal injections.
While other men currently in prison had been sentenced to death, their capital sentences have been reduced to life without parole for various reasons. James Randall Rogers, now 57, is the only man currently sentenced to death from Floyd County. Rogers raped and murdered his 75-year-old neighbor in 1980. The Georgia Department of Corrections does not list any date for Rogers’ scheduled execution.