ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
some text
Barry Van Whitton faces trial in the 1997 cold case death of his wife, Michelle Townson Whitton.

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — The defense in the cold-case trial of 46-year-old Barry Van Whitton rested just before lunch today after testimony of its last witness.

Jurors were moved out of the courtroom for a discussion between prosecutors and defense attorneys on the charges that will be considered in deliberations.

Whitton is on trial in the 1997 slaying of his first wife, Michelle Townson Whitton, 28 at the time she died. Her body was found just inside neighboring DeKalb County in a shallow grave on a creek bank, covered with rocks and debris.

State assistant attorney general John Hensley said last week in his opening arguments that blood evidence found inside the master bedroom and bathroom of the home the two shared in Dutton, Ala., indicates a deadly attack.

Hensley said Whitton bludgeoned his wife in the back of the head with the butt of a shotgun at the foot of their bed, then dragged her to the master bathroom. Then he attempted to clean up the bloody scene, even cutting out section of carpet in the bedroom.

Whitton is also suspected in the 2007 disappearance of his second wife, Kimberly Compton Whitton, and her 11-year-old daughter, Haleigh Brean Culwell. Their bodies have not been found and no charges have arisen from their disappearance.

Jury could get the case for deliberations later this afternoon. Whitton decline to testify in his own defense.

Stay with the Times Free Press for more on developments in this story.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.comor twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT