Judge combines cold case charges

Published 12:01 am Thursday, March 12, 2015

Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan agreed Wednesday to consolidate additional charges in a cold case murder trial.

Eugene W. Black and Shelia Williams were each indicted by a Covington County Grand Jury on felony murder charges.

McK-athan had already consolidated the pair’s cases involving robbery and murder.

The pair, along with Sandra Ellison Lynn and Sheila Ellison Brooks, who has since died, have been charged with the more than two-decades old murder of James “Nibby” Barton.

Black was represented by Peter Bush and Williams by Trey Burgess.

Bush objected to the consolidation, requested by the state, while Burgess said he had no issues with it.

Additionally, Bush filed a motion for a bond reduction for his client.

The state represented by Assistant District Attorney Emmett Massey argued that Black has an extensive criminal record in three different states, including nine felony counts and multiple misdemeanors.

Bush argued that Black has not been in trouble in 12 years. He was out on parole.

Additionally, Bush argued there is no murder weapon in evidence.

Massey argued that Black was arrested for armed robbery in 1980.

According to Black, his last criminal activity was in 1994.

McKathan said he would take it under advisement.

He also told the attorneys to discuss target trial dates since the case has been continued multiple times.