Hutto murder trial begins without defendant - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hutto murder trial begins without defendant

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James Cobb Hutto James Cobb Hutto
Ethel Winstead Simpson Ethel Winstead Simpson
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county.  James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson.

Prosecutors say Hutto killed Simpson, after a trip to the casino in Vicksburg. Her badly beaten body was discovered in a field near Edwards. During opening statements, prosecutor Laura Hunter said she died from blunt force trauma.

Hutto was noticeably absent from Monday's proceedings. Judge Bill McGowan told jurors he was exercising his right not to be present. The jurors were brought in from Oxford for the trial.

Prosecutors say Hutto was caught driving Simpson's brand new, 2010 Mercedes Benz, when he was charged with the murder. At first he denied involvement in her death, but finally confessed to prosecutors, and bragged saying he "gave it to her."

Hutto who spent 10 years as a professional fighter, often referred to himself as Satan, and said his body was a weapon.

Prosecutors outlined the timeline of September 13th to jurors, the day they say Ethel Simpson was killed. They say they plan to show surveillance video of Hutto and Simpson just minutes before her death, during a night visit to Riverwalk casino in Vicksburg.

The trial is expected to take three weeks to complete.

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