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Death penalty trial delayed second time
Suspect's attorney cites lack of funding
Sosniak WEB
Marcin Sosniak - photo by For the Forsyth County News


For the second time in about three months, a death penalty case has been delayed days before it was expected to go to trial.

Forsyth County Superior Court Judge David L. Dickinson made the decision Friday afternoon to postpone the state’s case against Marcin Sosniak.

Jury selection in the case was expected to begin Monday.

Bill Finch, one of Sosniak’s appointed attorneys, said his client’s right to a speedy trial has been violated.

“Because of the lack of funding from the state, so much time has transpired that we believe that it is unconstitutional to continue going forward with the case,” Finch said.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Forsyth County District Attorney Penny Penn could not be reached for comment.

The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council/Capital Defender’s Office is responsible for paying Sosniak’s attorneys. In 2009, attorneys statewide began asking to withdraw from cases because of the council’s inability to pay them.

Sosniak, Frank Ortegon and Jason McGhee each face the death penalty in connection with a March 19, 2006, massacre at a farmhouse off Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Four people, three of whom were teenagers, were killed in the attack.

The men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and will be tried separately.

Greg Allen, Forsyth County Clerk of Superior and State Courts, said some 400 prospective jurors were expected to show up at the county administration building Monday.

He said about half of them were notified Friday that the trial has been delayed.

“There will be several people that we didn’t have a phone number for or didn’t have an e-mail address,” Allen said. “We’re going to send them away Monday morning.”

He said the clerk’s office Web site and the juror phone message were updated as well.