MILLEDGEVILLE — A 1998 death penalty case tried in Baldwin County was re-visited once in 2009 through the Investigation Discovery Network “Wicked Attraction” program. The Oxygen Channel is working on its depiction of the John Anthony Esposito murder spree this week.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright, who was lead prosecutor on the Georgia murder trial, said Jupiter Entertainment's executive producer is shooting for the program “Snapped: Killer Couples” through Friday.
The show features couples whose passion drives them to commit terrible criminal acts. The series profiles couples incarcerated for serious crimes, as well as the relationship dynamic that led to such violence.
Esposito awaits execution on Georgia's death row after years of endless appeals and his girlfriend accomplice, Alicia Woodward, is serving a life sentence in Atlanta. Esposito murdered three elderly people over a two-week period in 1996, aided by Woodward who served as the bait.
The production team will interview Chief Investigator Mark Robinson, who was also involved with Esposito's prosecution in 1998, and Bright at the Baldwin Courthouse Friday.
On Oct. 2, 1998, after a nine-day trial, a jury of eight men and four women took only two hours to convict Esposito for the 1996 bludgeoning death of 90-year-old Lola Davis of Lumberton, N.C.
The Esposito case was tried in Baldwin County after an accepted change of venue from the Morgan County location where Davis' body was discovered outside Madison in September 1996.
“We picked the jury here, and we tried the case here,” Bright said. “It was a two-week, knock-down-drag-out jury trial.”
All of the evidence rests in the Superior Court Clerk's office as well.
Esposito and Woodward abducted Davis from a grocery store parking lot on Sept. 19, 1996, after Woodward persuaded Davis to give her a ride from the store to a location behind a nearby movie theater.