SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The trial for those linked by police to the murders of James Pastures in 2015 and Rebecca Foley in 2013 can now move forward following a Georgia Supreme Court ruling posted Monday.
Three men are charged with Foley's death, and two others are charged with the murder of Pastures. The trial and jury selection for all five had stalled because an attorney for one of the accused wanted a statement his client made to police removed from evidence.
Prosecutors want a statement Kevin Smith made to police in 2013, saying he bought a gun from Roderick Parrish, to be presented to jurors come trial time. The significance is the gun was later matched as the gun used to kill Rebecca Foley. With the appeal cleared up, a trial date can now be set in both the Foley and Pastures murder cases, as both cases will be prosecuted together. It's something the parents of James Pastures say they're ready for.
"I'm ecstatic. I'm really happy about this because it's a long time coming. We shouldn't have had to wait this long for them to rule, but I'm glad that they made a ruling in our favor so we can move forward toward a trial and get the justice that we deserve for our son," Michelle Pastures said.
The two men accused of killing James Pastures just over three years ago are Shacqeal Sanders and Henry Speaks.
James Pastures' father, Joe Pastures, said, "I want to go see them again. I want to see Shacqeal Sanders and Henry Speaks. I want to see them, because every time we've seen them, they won't look at us in court. They will not look at us. He will turn his head, put his head down."
Losing their son has prompted the couple to start up a non-profit that aims to keep kids from getting into a life of crime and gangs.
"We just want our children to do better in Savannah and to know that they have better options than gangs and guns and violence in the community. We just want them to do better," Michelle Pastures said.
We reached out to the attorney representing Kevin Smith for his thoughts on the Supreme Court ruling and have yet to hear back.
Now, the court and all the defense lawyers and prosecutors have to nail down a date for the trial to begin.