Lawyer: Monroe deputy murder suspect Christopher Calmer attempted suicide in jail

Accused Monroe County deputy killer attempts suicide

Christopher Calmer, the man accused of killing one Monroe County deputy and wounding another, attempted suicide in jail Thursday, his lawyer Gabrielle Amber Pittman told Judge Tommy Wilson.

According to Sgt. Lawson Bittick, spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's office when deputies arrived in Crisp County to pick Calmer up for the hearing they were notified of the attempt. Bittick says Crisp officials told Monroe transport deputies Calmer cut his neck in the shower on Thursday in an apparent suicide attempt. 

Bittick says Calmer was checked out by emergency medical technicians, bandaged and deemed suitable for travel to Monroe County for the pre-trial hearing. He was in court for a scheduled motions hearing on his upcoming murder trial.

"It was a superficial wound," Bittick said. 

13WMAZ's Justin McDuffie reports that Calmer appeared in court Friday morning with a large bandage covering the front of his neck. 


Calmer's lawyer asked the judge to preserve any video or other records on the suicide attempt. She also told the judge it was inappropriate for Sheriff John Cary Bittick to communicate directly with the judge about her client's status. She said the sheriff should have contacted Calmer's defense team first.

Calmer sat with his head on the table during part of the hearing.

Lawyers also discussed whether to sequester the Upson County jury that will hear the case. Lawyers decided to get an outside law enforcement agency to transport and supervise the jurors for the trial. Sheriff John Cary Bittick is finalizing that plan, and lawyers will decide whether to approve it during a hearing on April 21. 

Jury selection starts in May in Upson County, and Judge Wilson says the trial and testimony is set to begin June 5 at the Monroe County Courthouse.

He is accused of fatally shooting deputy Michael Norris in Sept. 13, 2014 and wounding deputy Jeff Wilson.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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