The Richmond Register

Local News

January 17, 2013

Judge, attorneys discuss details of upcoming murder trials

No decision made about death penalty in Warford, Walker double-homicide

RICHMOND —

Brief hearings were conducted Wednesday afternoon in which Judge Jean C. Logue and attorneys briefly discussed the details of two upcoming murder trials.

John Payne, 39, is scheduled for a two-week trial starting April 15. He is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Meredith King, and his mother, Cornelia Gayle Mullins, 55, in November 2010.

Payne is charged with two counts of murder and one count each of theft by unlawful taking and convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

Although it was announced at a prior status hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith reminded the court that unless the case is resolved prior to trial, he is seeking the death penalty.

Logue noted that because of the length of the trial and the nature of the punishment sought by the prosecution, a larger-than-usual jury pool will need to be summoned.

Smith said after the hearing that about 90 people are usually summoned at a time for jury duty, and he expected at least triple that number to be called for the Payne trial.

Smith said he and Payne’s attorney, Brian Barker, still need to sit down and go over the discovery in the case.

“I just want to make sure he’s got it all,” Smith said.

Logue set the next status conference in the case for Feb. 8. She said there would be more discussion about the jury pool at that hearing.



Hearing in Warford, Walker double-homicide

Matthew Denholm, 28, and Daniel Keene, 27, appeared in court for Wednesday’s second status hearing. The two men are accused of taking money to kill Charles Walker, 30.

The bodies of Walker and his girlfriend, Sonsaray Warford, also 30, were found in shallow graves off Tates Creek Road in March 2012. The couple had been missing since June 2010.

A jury trial in the case is set for Aug. 12, and it’s expected to take two to three weeks. Denholm and Keene are charged with two counts each of murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. They face one count each of first-degree burglary and tampering with physical evidence.

Logue asked Smith if a decision had been made on whether the prosecution would seek the death penalty in the case.

Smith said Keene and Denholm’s attorneys had asked that the discovery process be completed before anything was filed concerning the death penalty.

“It’s moving slowly, but it’s moving,” Smith said.

Another status hearing in the case is set for 10 a.m. April 19.



Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-23 Gravestone.jpg In search of the last resting place

    At a popular illegal dump site off Bybee Loop in Waco, two marble grave markers were among some items found there by Pat and Ronnie Aldridge, residents who live about 250 yards from the area.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fiscal court awards EMA bids

    Two more bids were awarded at Tuesday’s Madison County Fiscal Court meeting for the emergency operations agency.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23 Peter Crowe.jpg Intoxicated man charged with wanton endangerment

    A 27-year-old Richmond man was charged Sunday with second-degree wanton endangerment after he was found intoxicated and walking with several young children in the Keystone Drive area, according to a Richmond police report.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee voting available for May 20 election

    Walk-in absentee voting for the May 20 primary has begun and will continue until May 19, County Clerk Kenny Barger announced Tuesday at the Madison Fiscal Court meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23 Tab-a-PULLooza1.jpg Friday last day to collect pop tabs for Tab-a-Pullooza

    Before throwing that soda can in the recycling bin, twist off the pop tab and donate it to a local elementary or middle school for this year’s Tab-a-Pullooza celebration.

    April 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pot throwing downtown leads to arrest

    A Berea man was arrested Saturday after police say he damaged a downtown Richmond business and a parked vehicle by throwing flower pots.
    Jonathan A. McCullough, 34, was charged with first- and third-degree criminal mischief as well as alcohol intoxication, according to a Richmond police report.

    April 21, 2014

  • London police chief ordered to stay away from Berea woman

    A woman who who moved to Berea in February 2013 after a live-in relationship with London Police Chief Stewart O. Walker has obtained an emergency protective order against him from Madison Family Court.

    April 21, 2014

  • Task force reveals plan to make ‘Meaningful Math' matter

    It’s all too common to hear parents say, “I was never good at math...,” as if to excuse their children for not being good at math, said Madison County Schools Superintendent Elmer Thomas.

    April 21, 2014

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 4-18 Hong Kong 1.JPG Hong Kong fifth-graders visit Kit Carson

    A group of students from Hong Kong got a taste of the bluegrass last week thanks to an invitational education program at Kit Carson Elementary School.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results