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April 10 hearing set for Digmon, Fletcher

News Staff Report

Although a prosecutor has still not been appointed to hear the case against them, Atmore News publisher and co-owner Sherry Digmon and reporter Don Fletcher have been summoned to appear in court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10, for a scheduling conference and motion hearing.
Motions have been filed on behalf of both local journalists, asking that the charges of revealing grand jury secrets be dismissed. Whether or not those motions will be considered could not be determined by Tuesday’s press deadline.
Retired 19th Judicial District Circuit Judge Ben Fuller is expected to oversee the April 10 proceedings. Fuller was appointed to hear the case when local judges Jeff White, Todd Stearns and Eric Coale, recused themselves due to their respective relationship with District Attorney Steve Billy (who has also recused himself from trying the case).
A scheduling conference is among other things for “facilitating the just, speedy, and inexpensive disposition of the case,” through discussion of all aspects of the case, including rulings on any motions, identification of witnesses and documents, scheduling the filing and exchange of any pretrial briefs, and setting dates for further conferences and trial.