|Continuance granted in murder trial of John Arlin Walters|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Oct. 4, 2004 -- The murder trial slated to begin in the Eighth Judicial District Court Monday morning has been postponed until 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, to allow defense attorneys for John Arlin Walters more time to review evidence collected by investigators.
Judge Robert Newsom granted defense attorney Clifton Holmes' motion for continuance early Monday morning, giving the defense another week to continue working on their case.
The motion for continuance marked the fourth request made to the judge to postpone the trial, according to Assistant District Attorney Martin Braddy, who is prosecuting the case.
The 59-year-old Pickton man was arrested Jan. 16, for shooting his 67-year-old brother, Russell Lowell Walters Jr. of Winnsboro, who died at the hospital as a result of the injuries. The defendant was released from Hopkins County Jail on $500,000 bond March 17 after his bond was reduced from $1 million.
A nine woman, three man jury panel was selected last Thursday, to hear the murder trial, which was set to begin early Monday morning and continue through the week. Walters faces five years to 99 years or life in prison if convicted on the first degree murder charge.
According to information sheriff's officers obtained from Russell's wife and John Arlin Walters immediately following the shooting, the younger Walters brother drove up to Tabernacle Baptist Church on FM 269 in Pickton where his brother, Russell, and his sister-in-law were. Both men engaged in a verbal altercation believed to possibly have stemmed from an ongoing family dispute between the two brothers. John Arlin then shot Russell twice while in the church parking lot. He then got in his truck and drove to his residence and called 911, Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams said following the shooting.
The self-employed farmer was arraigned later that afternoon for the first-degree murder of his brother at the county jail, where he remained until March 17 when his bond was reduced from $1 million to $500,000.
Sheriff's officers were contacted at 2:06 p.m. Jan. 16 by someone inside Tabernacle Baptist Church who advised she could hear a woman screaming in the parking lot. She also told emergency dispatchers that when she looked out the window saw two trucks, one that was stationary and a red truck that was heading northbound from the church on FM 269 in Pickton.
A second call almost immediately following the first reported that a someone had been shot in the parking lot.
County dispatchers received a third call on the emergency 911 line from John A. Walters at 2:08 p.m. advising that someone had been shot at the church, but upon further investigation officers determined the caller to be the shooting suspect.
Two sheriff's deputies went to John Arlin's Walter's Pickton residence, after he indicated to dispatchers that he shot his older brother, Russell Lowell Walters Jr. He emptied his gun, as told to do so by dispatchers he was talking to on his cell phone when officers arrived.
The suspect was taken into custody about 25 minutes after the shooting.
Emergency Medical Services personnel transported Russell Walters by ambulance to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery. The victim was pronounced dead in the emergency room by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup.