Perry County Trial Moves to Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Perry County Trial Moves to Biloxi

   The two victims in the case, 21-year old Robbie Bond and 27-year old William Hatcher, disappeared from their jobs in Hattiesburg on May 14, 1995. Less than a week later, police found their bodies in a shallow grave behind Moody's mobile home in rural Perry County, a killing that investigators describe as gruesome.

   Once a jury is seated to hear capital murder charges against Kenneth Moody, his attorneys say DNA evidence will play a big role in the trial. Attorney Bill Kirksey says, "A lot of the state's case rests on the science of DNA. They have their version of it, we got ours."

    The defense's version is that the state's evidence isn't reliable. "We're gonna say that their sample was degraded from the get go and if you have a degraded sample then you cannot rely on it scientifically at the end. If you start with somethin' that's bad, whatever you wind up with is just as bad," Kirksey says.

   Investigators say Robbie Bond and William Hatcher apparently drove to a rural bridge in Perry County to watch the stars on the night of May 14, 1995. Police got a break in this case when Moody's cousin David, who was only 14 at the time, led them to the couple's shallow graves. Authorities say Hatcher was stabbed to death. Bond was raped, beaten and later drowned with a water hose stuck down her throat. Defense Attorney Mike Horan says, "The initial contact took place there at the bridge in Perry County and clearly there was a crime and that is the crime scene. It remains to be seen whether they can connect our client at all with that particular scene."

   Jury selection will begin Tuesday and is expected to last two days. The trial could take up to two weeks.  Moody's cousin, David, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of capital murder in the killings.

   Prosecutor Ray Price wouldn't comment until a jury is seated.

   Kenneth Moody and another cousin are also charged in a separate murder; the stabbing death of Michael Lee of Mobile.

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