Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
In honor of Independence Day, The Daily News is providing unlimited access to all of our content from June 28th-July 4th! Presented by Cowlitz Chaplaincy

Georgia judge dismisses murder charges in former Rose princess' death

  • 0

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Georgia judge has dismissed murder charges against the husband of a former Rose Festival princess who died after a fire at the couple's suburban Atlanta home.

Wayne Carr, a prominent Atlanta nursery owner, served three years of a life sentence in Georgia for allegedly setting fire in April 1993 to the couple's home. Patricia Carr died days later of smoke inhalation.

Judge Rowland Barnes ruled that Carr's right to a speedy trial was violated because the case has languished since 1997, when the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his 1994 conviction on arson and murder charges. The Supreme Court cited trial errors and prosecutorial misconduct.

Carr has been free on $100,000 bond since 1998 awaiting retrial. Barnes blamed the delay on the office of Fulton County's district attorney, Paul Howard.

"Where no reason appears for a delay, the court must treat the delay as caused by the negligence of the state in bringing the case to trial," Barnes said in his May 19 ruling.

Carr's attorney, Donald Samuel, said the prosecution delayed seeking a retrial because it lacked the evidence to convict Carr.

Patricia Carr's sister, Nancy Carruthers of Warrenton, said it was highly unlikely Barnes' ruling could be overturned, because so much time has passed.

Wayne Carr, now 67, was a former student body president at Willamette University where, in 1958, he met Patricia Holcomb, a talented musician who was a Rose Festival princess in 1957. She had graduated from Portland's Wilson High School.

They were married in 1961 in Portland.

The Carrs moved to Atlanta. In 1976, Wayne Carr bought the Hastings Nature & Garden Center, a nationally known seed catalog company. Patricia Carr became a prominent piano instructor.

During the 1994 trial, Grace alleged that Carr, who admitted tapping his wife's telephone, set fire to their house after learning of her affair with another man and her plans to divorce Carr.

The defense argued that the fire was accidental.

Carr didn't testify at the trial but maintained his innocence in a courtroom statement afterward.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

A lawsuit filed against the Washington State Patrol official responsible for the state’s breath test machines used to measure the intoxication of drunken-driving suspects claims she violated the rights of suspects who had their licenses revoked. The lawsuit follows a ruling last week that barred breath tests from being used against drunken-driving suspects in Kitsap County courts. The lawsuit filed Wednesday claims state toxicologist Fiona Couper filed false statements vouching for the legality of the machines and “deprived the plaintiff of due process.” It seeks to be certified as a class action.

A Washington state jury on Wednesday awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of a net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised — an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. About 250,000 Atlantic salmon escaped into the Salish Sea when the net pen owned by Cooke Aquaculture collapsed. Cooke paid a bounty of $30 for each salmon recovered by the tribe’s fishers — $1.3 million in all. The Lummi Nation argued that while the fishers had been compensated, the company had not reimbursed the tribal government for responding to the spill.

U.S. health regulators have ordered vaping company Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. It's the biggest blow yet to the embattled company that is widely blamed for sparking a surge in teen vaping. The announcement Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration is part of a sweeping regulatory review of e-cigarettes, which faced little regulation until recently. Since last fall, the FDA has greenlighted a few e-cigarettes. To stay on the market, manufacturers must show their products help reduce the harm of smoking for adults, without appealing to kids. The FDA said Juul’s application didn’t include enough information to evaluate any potential risks.

A man accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy in southwestern Washington is facing additional charges in connection with the 2021 shooting. The Columbian reports 27-year-old Guillermo Raya Leon of Salem, Oregon, was arraigned in Clark County Superior Court Thursday on amended information in the death of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown. Raya Leon pleaded not guilty to possessing a stolen firearm, trafficking in stolen property, burglary and theft of a motor vehicle. He previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree aggravated murder and another count of possession of a stolen firearm. Investigators say Raya Leon admitted to shooting Brown while the detective was seated in an unmarked police SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex.

An Oregon State Police trooper and Clackamas County sheriff’s detective fatally shot 24-year-old Derrick Dewayne Clark after a traffic stop and pursuit Saturday. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports in an initial statement, the sheriff’s office said the shooting happened after an attempted traffic stop and chase that ended in Milwaukie. The Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday afternoon that the officers tried to stop Clark because they suspected he was driving under the influence. The statement says Clark drove his car into a ditch, police told Clark to show his hands and he got out of the car with a handgun. Police shot him twice. The shooting is under investigation by nearby police departments.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is now among a growing number of people calling for elected Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to resign. The calls for the 78-year-old Democrat to step down come after the Northwest News Network reported Wednesday that Kreidler’s office had fired employee Jon Noski. Noski had submitted a written complaint about Kreidler’s treatment of staff. Inslee said Friday that while Kreidler had said he would work to improve his relationship with staff, recent events show he's unable to fulfill his leadership responsibility. The Washington State Democratic Party and a group of state senators have also urged him so resign. Kreidler said Noski wasn't fired because of the complaint and doesn't plan to resign.

Police say officers arrested a convicted sex offender in southern Oregon after a child was sexually touched at a YMCA swimming pool. The Grants Pass Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to a report of a sex offense on Monday involving a 6-year-old girl. Police say YMCA staff helped identify the person involved as Rex McCurdy, a registered sex offender from California. Officers arrested 66-year-old McCurdy Wednesday when he came back to the YMCA. McCurdy was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders, as well as laws that will make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care. Inslee made the announcement during a news conference Saturday morning, saying the right to an abortion in Washington should not depend on which political party holds the majority of seats in the state Legislature. Inslee, who is a Democrat, also said he would ask legislators to strengthen privacy laws and enact new laws that will bar law enforcement agencies from assisting any other states that are investigating alleged violations of anti-abortion laws.

Starting July 1, the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds will be banned in Washington state. Importing, manufacturing and distributing them will be outlawed, too. The only magazines allowed for sale and importing will be those with a maximum capacity of 10 cartridges under a measure passed this year. The Second Amendment Foundation and other gun rights organizations filed a federal lawsuit this month claiming the new law violates constitutional protections under the Second and Fourteenth amendments. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said he will “vigorously defend” the new law. He says all seven federal appellate courts have upheld these laws as constitutional.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News