A GBI spokesman said that the three crime labs in Georgia that are slated for closing are the same three that were looked at last year and include the crime lab in Summerville.  The state legislature stepped in last year and provided emergency funding to keep the Summerville, Moultrie and Columbus Crime Labs open, but now it appears that there fate is sealed.

Lookout Mountain Judicial District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he feared that the lab closing could create the types of backlogs seen just a few years ago when labs were underfunded and understaffed.

In the early 2000s, drug cases would take six to eight months for results, Mr. Franklin said. But when labs were fully staffed and funded, the same tests might take two to three weeks, he said.

Tentative estimates show that the GBI will save $300,000 this year and possibly $700,000 in a full year of operation once the three labs are closed.