On Monday, May 5, Jonathan Kyle Courson stood before Appling County Superior Court Judge E.M. Wilkes and pled guilty to felony murder, false statements and tampering with evidence. On Monday The News-Banner learned that Courson reportedly requested (in an unofficial legal capacity) to withdraw his plea sometime last week. Following the May 5 plea, Courson was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife and was transferred to Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison, located in Jackson (according to the Georgia Dept. of Corrections website). At the May 5 hearing Wilkes did inform Courson that he would have 30 days to possibly request withdrawing his plea. Should Courson, or legal representation, officially request and have his request granted to withdraw his plea, the case could potentially head to a jury trial.
As reported by The News-Banner on May 7, Judge Wilkes repeatedly asked Courson if he understood the consequences of pleading guilty to the above-mentioned charges on May 5 and Courson repeatedly answered “yes”.
Originally Courson was indicted by an Appling County Grand Jury on eight counts including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, making a false statement, tampering with evidence, reckless conduct, insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. The indictments stemmed from an incident that took place at Courson’s and his wife’s (Mandy) home located on Corey Street in Oak Ridge Subdivision on January 4, 2013, which resulted in the murder of Mandy Courson.
On June 17, at 1:30 p.m., a hearing will be held to determine legal representation for Courson at the Appling County Courthouse.