Defense claims Canadian vendor illegally altered Columbus grand jury pool in murder case
Attorneys for a woman and her alleged ex-lover accused of killing her estranged husband in 2004 are claiming the suspects’ indictment was illegal and should be quashed.
The lawyers representing Rebecca McInnis Haynie and Donald Keith Phillips, each charged with murder in the fatal March 4, 2004, shooting of Columbus auto shop owner Kirby Smith, argue Muscogee County illegally altered a state-supplied list of potential jurors before the grand jury that indicted the pair was impaneled.
Haynie, now 48, and Phillips, 40, so far are set for trial Sept. 23, but the trial date has been postponed before as attorneys work through a series of pretrial motions. The suspects were arrested in the cold case on June 5, 2014.
On Monday they were back in Muscogee Superior Court as their attorneys asked Judge Gil McBride to dismiss their Aug. 30, 2016, indictment, claiming the county tainted the pool of jurors from which the grand jury was selected.
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