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By   /   April 1, 2011  /   Comments

By Kevin Hogencamp

Marlina Von Hamilton may spend the rest of her life in prison, but not until she spends a few weeks getting her affairs in order.

Convicted last week of murder in the October 2010 death of ex-husband Christopher Donaldson, who was shot in the groin and chest, Von Hamilton was immediately freed on the $35,000 bond that she posted after being arrested last fall. She is not wearing a home monitoring device and isn’t otherwise subjected to special conditions, except to not contact the victim’s family, court records show.

The post-murder conviction bond release following a murder conviction may be a first for Dougherty County; District Attorney Greg Edwards and Superior Court Clerk Yvonne Mull said they do not recall it having ever occurred in Albany.

Here’s how it happened. After the jury’s murder verdict was read in the courtroom, Edwards requested that Von Hamilton be immediately sentenced by Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette. Defense attorney Johnnie Edwards than asked Lockette to delay the sentencing to give Von Edwards an opportunity to get her family affairs in order, and Lockette established a sentencing date of April 15.

Von Hamilton’s children are 2, 9 and 15 years old, Edwards said.

“The state acquiesced to the extent that I did not know how long he was going to give her,” Edwards said, adding that he thought that sentencing likely would occur early the next week. “It was kind of spur-of-the-moment. I figured he was talking about allowing her to get her affairs in order over the weekend. Actually, the defense did not ask for a specific amount of time. During the trial, my impression was that the children were already being attended to by relatives.”

The Albany Journal attempted to contact Lockette by telephone and e-mail on Tuesday, to no avail.

Von Hamilton, 33, of the 2500 block of Habersham Road, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison plus 25 years after being found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault-family violence, aggravated assault, and possessing a firearm while committing a felony. She was found not guilty of malice murder.

Von Hamilton killed Donaldson, 32, with a 9mm handgun she borrowed three days before the shooting. She claimed self-defense and said Donaldson raped and beat her.

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  1. franklin says:

    Judge Lockett have made some poor decisions over time, but this Marlina Hamilton’s case has really taken the cake.Why is this lady getting special treatment, what is she to the Judge? Something is in the milk that’s not clean with this. Seem as if Lockett has his own laws that he use for his friends, and his personal feelings about whatever the crime is. We need a judge that will see that justice is done no matter who the person. I wonder if she is really going to be sentence. Judge Lockett, we will remember this one, you know you are wrong. Seem as if the man that was killed had no rights, he was a man not a animal. I pray for his family.

  2. Truth B Known says:

    Why is it that no Judge,Commissioner,Mayor,wants to make remarks to this paper.If i were innocent of what was beeing said i would reply.But we know 0ur Officlas.You know what that tells us? Come voting time lets make some changes.Good ones.Not based on sex,color,or wealth.Lets do it to better Albany.Who knows,who ever gets in may be worse than the ones in there now.But i am willing to take the chance,I am one with the thinking that if we get the right ones in there,they will work with us,THE TAXPAYER.After all we do pay them.Now you know it is wrong when they let there buddies get away with things people on the street cant,that should stop as of yesterday so to speak.I am not judgeing this women,that is not my thing to do.But i dont think if she was charged and found guilty that she should not have time to get everything in order.That means we need more judges.And by the way Ken is Gone,we have Greg now.Maybe they are starting a good ole womens group now.

    1. peace says:

      What is wrong with Judge Lockett? I have never heard of anything like that ever happening in dougherty county. That’s no regard for the community or the victim”s family. I don’t even know these people but I know that’s wrong. This woman should have been taken to Friday, 3/25. It sound like to me something crooked is going on. Judge Willie Lockett once was a decent and just judge, I see now he’s corrupted to. That’s why Albany is in the shape that if is in now, because it is crooked at the top. Good Luck Mr. Edward on trying to get justice in Judge Lockett’s court room. But I believe the voters wii remember this, I know I will, and will tell every one that will listen.

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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