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Inmate says he discussed assault with suspect on trial this week
Inmate must be transferred to Hall before David Keener faces charges
David-William-Keener
David William Keener

A Superior Court jury will wait until Wednesday to hear the case of an alleged aggravated assault while an inmate is transferred to appear.

David William Keener, 50, was indicted on charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault in September. He was accused of kicking a man with steel-toed boots, hitting him with a branch and stitching his ear with a sewing needle at a homeless encampment in August 2014.

An inmate in the Georgia Department of Corrections wrote a letter to the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, claiming he and Keener discussed the alleged assaults.

Juliet Aldridge from the district attorney’s office said her office has sought to have the inmate transferred for trial. A production order was filed Monday morning to the Georgia Department of Corrections to have the inmate moved to Hall County immediately.

Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller asked Aldridge to “utilize whatever resource is available to any of us” to get the inmate here as soon as possible.

Keener was charged in the September indictment with two other assaults that will not be heard at trial after the counts were severed by Fuller. Because the alleged assaults occurred on three different dates and involve three different alleged victims, Fuller wrote that there was a “great risk of prejudice” if tried together.

Keener sought immunity from the charges in claims of self-defense of “himself, his property and his habitation,” according to court documents. His motion for immunity was denied.

Keener faces other charges for felony murder and aggravated battery for the two other assaults not at issue in Wednesday’s trial.

A 45-person jury pool was called into Fuller’s courtroom for jury selection. Some specific questions asked by Aldridge and Keener’s attorney Dan Sammons to the prospective jurors related to their interaction with the homeless community.

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