Kirby to be tried in Toombs County for Pestana-Mason murder

by | April 5, 2017 2:14 pm

   The Emanuel County Superior Court case of State of Georgia v. Phillip Scott Kirby Sr. has been granted a change of venue. Kirby was indicted in 2015 for the alleged 2002 murder of Emily Pestana-Mason, a professor at East Georgia College in Swainsboro. The case has been moved to neighboring Toombs County. Emanuel and Toombs County are both part of the Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia.

   Kirby is represented by Attorney Matthew K. Hube of Statesboro. The State will be represented by Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney S. Hayward Altman and Chief Assistant District Attorney John A. “Tripp” Fitzner III.

   The trial will begin with jury selection on Monday, April 10 in Lyons. The Toombs County prospective jurors have been summoned to report at 8:30 a.m. Chief Judge Kathy Stephens Palmer will preside. The trial is expected to require 5-7 to complete.

   Media outlets or others wishing to cover the proceedings should file a Rule 22 Motion pursuant to the Uniform Superior Court Rules for the State of Georgia. The motion should be filed with Kristin Hall, Clerk of Emanuel County Superior Court, 125 S. Main St., Swainsboro, GA 30401. A courtesy copy should be provided via U.S. Mail to Hon. Kathy S. Palmer, chief judge of Superior Court, Middle Judicial Circuit, 125 S. Main Street, Swainsboro, GA 30401, via facsimile at 478-237-0949, or via email to

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