The two high-profile pre-trials of two Flagler County residents accused of murder were scheduled this morning before Circuit Judge Dennis Craig. Bobby Earl Gore, accused of killing his son, showed up. Dorothy Singer, accused of killing her husband, did not.
Either way, separate trials for both were tentatively set for December. Both cases are listed as capital felonies, meaning they both potentially face the death penalty.
Singer, whose only prior appearance before a judge, by video conference at her first-appearance hearing, was mostly silent and surly, refused to leave the county jail, where both defendants have been held since the killings earlier this year. “I guess she was given a choice” to come to court, Craig told her attorney, Junior Barrett.
“We didn’t need her here,” Barrett replied: he’d filed a waiver, allowing Singer not to attend, though it’s very rare that a defendant will not be present at every one of his or her pre-trial hearings, when given the choice.
Barrett, himself late to court (this is my first time in this building,” he told the judge) asked for a pre-trial continuance and said he would most likely not be ready for trial until next year. Barrett is the chief Assistant regional counsel for the Fifth District’s Office of Criminal Conflict. He’s based in Orange County, and has been handling numerous re-sentencing hearings for individuals facing the death penalty after Florida’s and the United States supreme courts declared various aspects of Florida’s death penalty law unconstitutional. The Legislature has since re-written the law, requiring those new sentencing hearings–and adding to Barrett’s docket, which is likely to make a December trial for Singer unlikely.
Singer, 48, was arrested in May and charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Charles Singer, whose body authorities discovered buried in the backyard of the couple’s property in West Flagler. He had been shot several times. Singer was arrested as she was allegedly attempting to flee the county.
Gore, 74, is accused of shooting his son, execution-style, during an argument on the back porch of the family’s Flagler Beach house at the end of April. He is being defended by Ray Warren, a public defender who handles many of the Seventh Judicial Circuit’s death penalty cases. He is currently handling one such case in St. Johns County.
“We are discussing things,” Warren said, regarding the Gore case, “we just had to put everything on hold because of the death penalty case.”
He has another first degree murder case set in September, and another before that in Palatka. “If it’s going to be tried,” Warren said of the Gore case, “it’s not going to occur until probably November or December.”
Gore will appear again in a September 12 pre-trial, Singer on Oct. 10. Her trial is tentatively set for Dec. 4.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson is prosecuting the case for the state.