The trial of Leona Pierce who is charged with murdering her 70-year-old husband, Charles Earl Pierce, is scheduled to begin Monday, June 17.
On Feb. 26, 1999, Mr. Pierce was shot at close range with a .410-gauge shotgun. His body was found at the Saul de Paul Hunting Preserve in Kensington.
Mrs. Pierce was indicted in 1999 and was granted a continuance during Walker County criminal session last year.
Authorities said they suspected Mrs. Pierce’s involvement early on in their investigation, but did not have the evidence to charge her until her husband’s longtime friend, John Ross Wooten, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the slaying. Superior Court Judge Ralph Hill sentenced Wooten to 10 years in a state penitentiary.
As a condition of a plea bargain, Wooten agreed to testify and help bring everyone involved in the crime to justice, Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said at the time of Pierce’s arrest.
Wilson said he did not think the murder was a contract killing. The couple had been married 17 years.
At the time of Mrs. Pierce’s arrest, the murder weapon was not recovered. However, forensic analysis proved a garment belonging to Wooten and found in his Woodcreek Drive apartment contained Mr. Pierce’s blood