Murder tri­als dates to be set

The Covington News - - Local News - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­

The deaths of An­drew Nichols and Keti­tra Jones may have hap­pened months, and for Nichols, years ago, but those charged in their cases are still mak­ing their way through the court sys­tem.

Sam Du­mas Dawkins, Robert Vin­cent Lam­bert, Michael Scott West and Chad Ash­ley Allen

Charged with the 2009 murder of An­drew Nichols, Dawkins, Lam­bert, West and Allen have all joined is­sue and will be tried to­gether.

Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Nichols was taken from the area of Ivy Street in Por­terdale and trans­ported to Dawkins’ home on Deer Trail in Ox­ford. He was taken to a shed at the back of the prop­erty, beaten and shot to death, then trans­ported to Wal­ton County where his body was found Dec. 6, 2009.

A trial for the four men, along with their co-de­fen­dant, Tanya Wil­son Owenby, who lived in the home with Dawkins, was sched­uled to be­gin Sept. 17. How­ever the state re­quested — and was granted — a con­tin­u­ance in the case.

Dis­trict At­tor­ney Layla Zon said that the ADA was dis­qual­i­fied be­cause of in­ad­ver­tently read­ing a sealed ex parte fil­ing by one of the de­fen­dants. This means that the ADA can­not do any­thing on the case and can­not dis­cuss what was read with any­one in the DA’s of­fice.

A new trial date has not been sched­uled. Dawkins, Allen, West and Lam­bert are all charged with mal­ice murder, felony murder, kid­nap­ping, ag­gra­vated as­sault, pos- ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony, pos­ses­sion of a firearm by a con­victed felon and con­ceal­ing the death of an­other. Dawkins has ad­di­tion­ally been charged with traf­fick­ing metham­phetamine, pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine with in­tent to dis­trib­ute and theft by re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty.

Owenby faces charges of pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine with in­tent to dis­trib­ute, pos­ses­sion of Sched­ule II con­trolled sub­stance, traf­fick­ing metham­phetamine of am­phet­a­mine, theft by re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty and pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony.

Han­ni­bal Wayne McMullen

McMullen is charged with the Fe­bru­ary 2012 murder of his for­mer girl­friend Kati­tra Jones.

It had been less than two months since Jones had been grated a tem­po­rary pro­tec­tion or­der against McMullen for al­legedly stalk­ing and threat­en­ing her, when he re­port­edly chased her down Wash­ing­ton Street in his ve­hi­cle, shoot­ing her while she drove her ve­hi­cle.

A judge or­dered a men­tal health eval­u­a­tion be done on McMullen to de­ter­mine his de­gree of crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity and san­ity at the time of the act.

The goal of the eval­u­a­tion is to see “whether the ac­cused had the men­tal ca­pac­ity to dis­tin­guish right from wrong in re­la­tion to the al­leged act; whether or not the pres­ence of a delu­sional com­pul­sion over­mat­tered the de­fen­dant’s abil­ity to re­sist com­mit­ting the al­leged act.”

No trial date has been set for McMullen.

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