March 8, 2013

Salyer set for trial Monday

Rachel Brown

— A trial delayed several months for a former college professor accused of child molestation and related crimes is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.

Monte Gale Salyer was charged about a year ago with two counts of rape, one count of statutory rape, three counts of child molestation, five counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. The former Dalton State College professor is accused of molesting an 8-year-old relative and two other children he befriended at church over several years.

The case has been rescheduled numerous times, including once in December when Salyer backed out of a plea deal at the last minute and again in January after an attorney representing him withdrew, citing ethics rules that prohibit lawyers from knowingly presenting false information.

Several other cases at calendar call before Judge Cindy Morris in Whitfield County Superior Court Thursday were delayed until the next trial calendar, April 26, for various reasons. The defendants have all pleaded not guilty. They include:

• James Smith, the former Varnell police officer charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving in a collision a year ago that killed Leon Thurman, a contract newspaper carrier for The Daily Citizen.

• Jody Michael Stokes, a Rocky Face man charged with electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors after police said he was sending “explicit” text messages to an underage girl and propositioning her for sex about two years ago.

• Daniel Hank Yokley, a Tennessee man charged in the 2008 death of William “B.J.” or “Billy” Malone. Malone was a retired state trooper. Yokley faces charges for aggravated battery, robbery, first degree arson and three counts of murder.

• Floyd Earnest Youngblood, a Tunnel Hill man charged with rape, sodomy and making false statements in a 2011 case involving a homeless woman police say he met near a camp close to Providence Ministries.