Mur­der sus­pects to see trial Mon­day

Har­ris may tes­tify against oth­ers

The Covington News - - Front page - By Tyler Smith

The first mur­der of 2007 will be the first ma­jor case to be tried in 2008.

The trial of Wil­lie Dyer, Xavier Dyer and Christo­pher Rozier will be­gin Mon­day for their al­leged in­volve­ment in the Fe­bru­ary 2007 mur­der of Ru­fus Richard­son. The crime was the first of a record string of mur­ders in 2007.

New­ton County Sher­iff’s in­ves­ti­ga­tors said Lib­erty Har­ris, Larry Barr, Wil­lie Dyer, Xavier Dyer and Rozier con­spired to mur­der Richard­son whom they be­lieved to be a snitch. When an at­tempt to poi­son Richard­son with drugs laced with rat poi­son failed to do the trick, the group re­port­edly made the de­ci­sion to dis­pose of him in a more ef­fec­tive way. Peo­ple rid­ing their four- wheel­ers later found the bul­let- rid­dled body in the woods.

In court, New­ton County As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Me­lanie McCrorey said Richard­son was shot twice in the face and once in the un­der­arm while he was re­port­edly try­ing to de­fend him­self. Xavier, Dyer and Rozier are be­lieved to have been the ac­tual shoot­ers.

Har­ris, Xavier Dyer, and Rozier were all charged with mal­ice mur­der while Wil­lie Dyer and Barr were charged with be­ing a party to the crime of mur­der. The charges against Barr were later dead dock­eted, which, in gen­eral terms, means the charges against him were dropped but can be re­vis­ited at a later date.

Har­ris was sched­uled to ac­cept a plea-bar­gained deal Thurs­day, but she re­port­edly backed out at the last minute, McCrorey said. She is still ex­pected to tes­tify against Wil­lie Dyer, Xavier Dyer and Rozier af­ter re­ceiv­ing a court or­der of im­mu­nity.

McCrorey said Har­ris’ tes­ti­mony can­not be used against her when she is pros­e­cuted for her re­ported in­volve­ment in the mur­der.

“She has to be tried sep­a­rately from the oth­ers be­cause she gave state­ments to in­ves­ti­ga­tors in­di­cat­ing the other’s in­volve­ment in the mur­der,” McCrorey said.

Har­ris’ im­mu­nity cov­ers ev­ery­thing she might say on the stand un­less she per­jures her­self.

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