Big cases on January docket

Published 12:39 am Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cold case murder, River Falls theft to be heard

Fourteen people are scheduled to go to trial in January, according to a docket released recently.

The cases are set for the week of Jan. 26.

Among those are two defendants in the 1994 cold case murder of Heath convenience store owner Nibby Barton.

Eugene W. Black and Sheila Williams are set to be tried for murder and robbery I.

District Attorney Walt Merrell will prosecute the case. Peter Bush will represent Black and David Baker will represent Williams.

Additionally, Richard Moss will be tried for theft of property I.

In October 2012, Moss was indicted on four counts of theft of property I and one count of theft of property II.

Moss, who lived with then-River Falls Mayor Mary Hixon, previously worked at the administrator at the Coffee County Jail, but resigned after an investigation into illegal activities in River Falls took place.

Charges against Moss represented approximately $100,000 of the $200,000 in funds missing in River Falls, which included town money paying his power bill, $80,000-plus in salaries as if he were a River Falls police officer, and using town money to repair a vehicle belonging to his former employers. Additionally, ownership of Town of River Falls property was transferred to Moss without approval of the town council.

Paul Adams will prosecute the case and Baker is the defense attorney.

Also on the docket are:

• Don Earl Skipper for enticing a child for immoral purposes. Grace Jeter will prosecute and Brandon Coots will represent Skipper;

• Glenda Jean Desjardin for possession of controlled substance; possession of marijuana II; possession of drug paraphernalia. Emmett Massey will prosecute and Corey Bryan will represent Desjardin;

• John Groover for possession of marijuana I and possession of drug paraphernalia. Massey will prosecute and Bryan will represent Groover;

• Jeremy Kenneth Sasser for burglary III, theft of property I and theft of property II. The Attorney General’s office will prosecute and Larry Grissett will represent Sasser;

• Alphonso Wendell Hamilton for possession of a forged instrument II. Merrell will prosecute and Trey Burgess will represent Hamilton;

• James Edward Griffin for possession of marijuana I and possession of drug paraphernalia. Massey will prosecute and Bryan will represent Griffin;

• Anthony Wade Duff for possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana II, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a pistol without a permit and speeding. Massey will prosecute and Rod Sylvester will represent Duff.

• William Leon Burgans for possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jeter will prosecute and Baker will represent Burgans;

• Zachary Barnes for rape II and sodomy II. Jeter will prosecute and Bryan will represent Barnes;

• David Dean Johnson for sexual abuse I. Jeter will prosecute and William Alverson will represent Johnson; and

• Chase Smith for SORNA violation, speeding less than 25 mph, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving under the influence and driving while license suspended. Adams will prosecute and Bart Boothe will present Smith.