Crenshaw Killings

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The capital murder trial for a man accused of the August 2002 killings of six family members in rural Crenshaw County will be delayed again to allow forensic experts more time to examine the evidence.

Twenty-three-year-old Westley Devone Harris had been scheduled to go on trial Aug. 18. Crenshaw County District Attorney John Andrews said Monday the case will be postponed until November.

Andrews said the case is like others that have been affected by the heavy workload at the Department of Forensic Sciences. He said the agency is understaffed and overworked.

Harris had originally been scheduled for trial June 16th in Luverne.

State Forensic Director Taylor Noggle said his department expedited the testing in one of the worst murders in Alabama history and recently completed it. Noggle expects the additional analysis to be completed in about a month.

Also contributing to the trial delay are several motions filed by Harris' attorneys concerning forensic evidence. Defense attorneys also have said they may file a request to have the trial moved because of extensive pre-trial publicity.

If convicted, Harris could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.