Six Killed-Trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A circuit judge in Crenshaw County has refused to delay or step down from the capital murder retrial of Westley Devon Harris. He's accused of gunning down six members of his girlfriend's family at their rural farm in August 2002.

At a pretrial hearing Thursday, defense attorneys said they believed Circuit Judge Edward McFerrin had ordered Lynn Sutton, an agent with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, to retrieve the criminal histories of the witnesses who testified at Harris' first trial.

Sutton said she couldn't remember who told her to get the witnesses' criminal histories from the files. She said it may have been the prosecution.

McFerrin also denied a defense motion to postpone the retrial, set to begin Monday. A defense attorney said prosecutors recently introduced new evidence that the defense has not reviewed.

Prosecutors expect jury selection to last less than a week.

McFerrin declared a mistrial last November after learning that a family friend of Harris tried to influence a juror and assured Harris of a hung jury in taped telephone conversation.


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