COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The new Muscogee County District Attorney minced no words when talking about the prosecution of his first death penalty case.

District Attorney Mark Jones is confident he can convict Quartez Thomas for the deaths of his former girlfriend, Kiera Williams, and her friend Jasmine Trice.

“It’s a strong case,” Jones said. “A slam dunk case, I am being told.”

The district attorney says he’s being told that by Columbus police detectives.

“I talked with the homicide detectives assigned to the case,” Jones said. “We went over it. They told me it was a strong case, so I took them at their word.”

Thomas was scheduled to be in Recorder’s Court on Friday morning. Assistant Public Defender Robin waived the appearance and entered not guilty pleas on all charges. That hearing had to be postponed until March 23. Because the state will seek the death penalty against Thomas in the double slaying, he will have an attorney appointed by the Capital Defenders Group out of Atlanta.

“They weasled out of it,” Jones said of the delay awaiting a certified death penalty attorney for Thomas. “They got out of the preliminary because they say they needed a capital defender. We’ll get ’em one.”

The shooting happened Monday about 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Family Dollar on Floyd Road. Williams was shot in a vehicle and Trice was shot outside of it. Thomas and Williams had been in a relationship.

“The facts with the shooting being of the friend in addition to the victim, as well as doing the shooting in front of the victim’s daughter,” Jones said. “That’s unacceptable. We can’t tolerate it.”

Jones took office in January and says this meets the criteria for the death penalty.

“If you do things like that, you will die. We have a death penalty for a reason. So, we are going to use it.”