Pretrial motions in murder case conclude

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2.6 Brandon Ryles Perp walk Hz web

A law enforcement officer escorts Brandon Ryles to the Pike County Jail after lawyers presented pretrial motions Wednesday. Ryles is one of four men charged with capital murder in the deaths of Mark Adams and Carla Smilie, who were found shot to death in 2011.


Pike County Circuit Judge Shannon Clark was hit with a second day of pretrial motions Wednesday in connection with the capital murder trial of Brandon Jamal Ryles of Brundidge. She heard most of them in a closed courtroom.

Clark said judges reserve the right to close the courtroom for any proceeding.

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“It’s a matter of making sure this gentleman gets a fair trial,” she said.

Ryles was one of four men charged with capital murder in the 2011 deaths of Mark Kelvin Adams and Carla LeAnn Smilie. Adams and Smilie were found shot to death at Adams’ home in the Needmore community on April 5, 2011.

The pretrial motions began last month with issues regarding the jury questionnaires and the defense’s request to see physical evidence in the case.

Wednesday’s motions concerned scheduling issues and the jury questionnaires, according to Clark.

She heard evidentiary motions after closing the courtroom. The defense made several motions to suppress evidence and motions in limine.

“There were just a lot of evidentiary things that in pretrial aren’t usually questioned,” Clark said.

No orders were made

During last month’s status hearing, Clark granted the defense’s motion for examination of physical evidence. Arrangements will be made in the coming weeks for attorneys to examine the evidence, which is currently being held by the Troy Police Department.

Each party submitted motions for jury questionnaires. Clark said she would combine the questionnaires, which would be used during jury selection.

The trial is tentatively set to begin in March.

John Contrel Foster of Troy; Troy Kentrell McClaney of Union Springs; and Marquisse Rashad McClaney of Troy; also were charged in 2011 with capital murder in the deaths of Adams and Smilie. All are being held without bond. None of the cases have gone to trial.