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  1. #1
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Christopher Rich Sentenced to LWOP in 2009 AL Slaying of Hollie Elizabeth Newbury

    Defense attorneys in the capital murder trial of Christopher Michael Rich said Tuesday they anticipate asking that it be Postponed.

    The trial is scheduled to begin April 18.

    Rich, 32, is accused of shooting his common-law wife, Hollie Elizabeth Newbury, as their daughter watched Dec. 21, 2009.

    During a motions hearing, defense attorneys Jamy Poss and Chris Childers told Lauderdale Circuit Court Judge Gil Self that it could be some time in June before an expert witness for the defense is available to testify.

    Lauderdale District Attorney Chris Connolly said he and Chief Assistant District Attorney Will Powell are prepared for the trial to begin later this month on schedule.

    Childers and Poss said they expect to notify Self next week about when their witness will be prepared to testify.

    Lauderdale County sheriff’s investigators said the shooting that killed Newbury occurred as the couple met in Zip City to exchange custody of their daughters, who were ages 1 and 6 at the time. Investigators said Newbury, 24, was shot once with a shotgun.

    The older daughter witnessed the shooting, authorities said. As a result, Rich also is charged with aggravated child abuse.

    Among the motions Self heard Tuesday was one by the defense asking that he be barred from overriding the jury’s sentencing recommendation if Rich is convicted of capital murder. The only sentencing options for capital murder in Alabama are the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

    Alabama law allows judges to override the jury and impose the death penalty when jurors recommend a life sentence.

    “We’re asking the court to not override the jury,” Poss said.

    Self denied the motion.

    Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty if Rich is convicted of capital murder.

    Self also denied a motion from defense attorneys asking that he set a higher standard for how the trial is conducted because it is a death penalty case. The attorneys requested more detailed instructions be given to jurors before they begin deliberations.

    Self said Rich’s trial will be treated like any other.

    “I like to think all cases receive a high standard of attention,” Self said.

    “This case will receive no more or no less than any other case,” he said.

  2. #2
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Capital murder trial to begin Aug. 22

    FLORENCE ‑ The capital murder trial for a man charged with the shooting death of his common-law-wife in 2009 is scheduled to begin later this month.

    During a brief pre-trial hearing today, attorneys for Christopher Michael Rich and prosecutors told Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Gil Self that they expect to be able to select a jury Aug. 22 and then complete the trial by the following Friday.

    Rich, 32, is accused of shooting Hollie Elizabeth Newbury, 24, with a shotgun, as their daughter watched, at a home in the Zip City community on Dec. 21, 2009.

    Prosecutors will ask that Rich receive the death penalty if he is convicted of capital murder.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Never too Far
    It's great that he's being charged with aggravated child abuse as well as the shooting....what are parents thinking when they commit crimes in front of their children? I mean, it's bad enough they're going to do this stuff in the first place but to plan it out at a time that they *know* their child is there is horrific child abuse. Poor babies....losing their mom and dad in one brief moment. :disturbed:

  4. #4
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    FLORENCE - Christopher Michael Rich pleaded guilty this morning to capital murder in the 2009 shooting death of his children’s mother.

    The plea agreement was reached only minutes before testimony was to begin in the Lauderdale County Courthouse. The agreement involves a sentence of life and prison without the possibility of parole, courthouse officials said.

    Rich, 32, was on trial of the Dec. 21, 2009, shooting death of Holly Elizabeth Newbury, 24. She was shot in the head with a shotgun. The shooting occurred at a home in the Zip City community.

    Rich faced the death penalty had he been convicted of capital murder.

    Jurors in the case began hearing evidence from attorneys late this morning and will be asked to approve the agreement, a requirement in state law.

  5. #5
    I really hate when prosecutors do this. It is just a sign of pure laziness to do their job and seek out justice. You have a case virtually on the edge of going to trial with the jury already seated and then have the guy receive a plea agreement..

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