Convicted killer appears in court

James Barber in 2011.
James Barber in 2011.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Almost 11 years ago to the day, a convicted murderer appeared in a Madison County courtroom trying to have his conviction overturned.

James Barber was convicted of the brutal killing of 75-year-old Dorothy Epps. She was stabbed multiple times and bludgeoned to death at her home in Harvest.

Barber worked as a handyman for Epps. The judge who sentenced Barber called it a cruel, heinous and wicked crime.

A new circuit court judge, Judge Teresa Pulliam of Jefferson County, now presides over the case.

Barber also has a new team of defense lawyers representing him.

Assistant Attorney General Jon Hayden said Barber wants his murder conviction tossed out, on the grounds he was misrepresented by his lawyers during his 2003 murder trial.

Prosecutors also said Wednesday's hearing is part of a process known as the post-conviction remedy. They said Barber's original defense lawyer, Robert Tuten, also testified on Tuesday.

Several witnesses testified on behalf of Barber, including a forensic psychologist and a childhood friend.

Dorothy Epps' husband and family were also at the hearing but they declined to comment over details in the case.

The hearing ended around 4:45 p.m. and the judge said she would take it under advisement.

Prosecutors said it could take weeks or possibly months before a decision is made.

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