Interpreter approved for murder trial

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

An interpreter will be provided for the trial of a Pakistani man accused of strangling his daughter in 2008 when she wanted out of her arranged marriage.

Jury selection in the case against Chaudhry Rashid, 59, will begin Monday, said Clayton County Superior Court Judge Albert Collier. Rashid is charged with using a bungee cord to strangle his daughter, Sandeela Kanwal, 25, after picking her up from her job at Wal-Mart.

Rashid, represented by Alan Begner, was in Collier's courtroom Tuesday morning to hear arguments on whether or not statements between him and five family members can be used during his trial. The relatives visited Rashid inside an interrogation room after he was interviewed by police. That meeting was recorded.

Collier earlier ruled that Rashid's confession cannot be used against him because police violated his Miranda rights by failing to stop the interrogation after Rashid asked three times for an attorney.

Begner said the relatives have hired an attorney to fight being forced to testify against Rashid. Rashid is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail.

-- Kathy Jefcoats

New trial date set in murder case

A Clayton County judge denied a reduction in bond, and demand for a speedy trial Tuesday morning, for a man awaiting retrial on murder charges.

But the judge did order that the trial start the week of July 5.

Superior Court Judge Albert Collier said Timothy Alan Boothe, 44, is a flight risk, because of the seriousness of the charges he faces, and he refused to reduce Boothe's $750,000 bond.

Boothe is charged with murder and other felonies in connection with the 2007 death of Geneva Strickland, 68, of Jonesboro.

Boothe was injured while at the Clayton County Jail when he, either jumped, or was pushed from an upper tier, said Clayton prosecutor, Luana Popescu.

He is confined to a wheelchair and being held at the Columbia Care Center in South Carolina, said his attorney, Darrell Reynolds. The center specializes in housing inmates with physical-or mental-health-care issues.

A jury acquitted Boothe in February on arson and aggravated assault charges. Collier declared a mistrial on the other charges, after jurors failed to reach a decision after more than two days of deliberating.

Collier said, Tuesday, that Boothe is not entitled to a speedy trial, but said the case will be heard the week of July 5.

"If you have witnesses with vacations that week, tell them to cancel," he said. "We've gotta get this Boothe case tried."