New judge presides over case of man accused of killing Panola County sheriff’s deputy

New judge presides over case of man accused of killing Panola County sheriff’s deputy
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 11:43 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) - A man accused of killing a Panola County sheriff’s deputy was in court Wednesday afternoon with a different judge presiding over the case.

Gregory Newson is charged with capital murder for the December 2019 shooting death of Panola County Deputy Chris Dickerson.

For the first time, Newson appeared before Judge Christi Kennedy, now presiding in the case. It follows a recusal from Judge LeAnn Rafferty. Newson is accused of shooting Dickerson during a 2019 traffic stop in Gary. That’s about seven miles south of Carthage.

Jury selection is scheduled for July 31. But in Wednesday’s court hearing, the defense requested a motion for continuance to allow more time to prepare for trial.

“Today the court is denying the motion for continuance, subject to be resurged at a later date if you feel that it’s necessary because you said something really interesting. You said I don’t know if I can do this but I’ll try. And that’s what we’re all going to do. We’re all going to try and use our best efforts to accomplish this trial by the end of the year.” said Judge Kennedy.

The defense also requested a motion to change venue to avoid bias in Panola County.

Judge Kennedy said, “It’s my practice, and I intend to do this again to carry the motion to change venue until after the big voir dire. At big voir dire, this court will ask a question of all the assembled veniremen about whether they have formed an opinion in this case and that will give us a lot of good information. Panola County, it’s not Dallas County. So I don’t know what the result of that is going to be.”

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case. A proposed trial date is scheduled for October 2.