November 21, 2011 8:28:00 AM
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Hinds County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Richard Brown revealed last week in court that the 2008 shooting death of 48-year-old Larry Hunter, of Edwards is now being investigated as a murder-for-hire.
Brown testified in the preliminary hearing of 42-year-old David Scott Fultz of Edwards and 28-year-old Kenny Bingham, who lived in both Edwards and Gulfport.
Bingham, Fultz and a third co-defendant, 28-year-old Kelvin Washington of Raymond are charged with capital murder in Hunter's death.
According to Sunday's Clarion Ledger, authorities had speculated that Hunter was killed Feb. 11, 2008, while on his way to feed his horses about a mile from his home, and robbery was the motive. He had received a tax refund check of at least $6,000, but the money was missing and never recovered.
But last week from the witness stand, Brown, who inherited the case from another investigator, said, "We believe Larry was shot in bed while sleeping."
Bingham told witnesses he killed Hunter for insurance money and would get paid for it, Brown said, citing what witnesses said.
Hunter, a father of three, was found outside his horse barn about a mile from his home. His head was lying in his pickup, and his legs hung outside the vehicle.
Hunter had a $50,000 life insurance policy, but it has never been paid because of the circumstances of his death, according to Brown.
Hunter's slaying was considered a cold case until a tip this year led to the arrests of Fultz, Bingham and Washington. Bingham is Hunter's cousin, family members have said.
Fultz' attorney, Frank Jones, said there is no evidence his client participated in a homicide. Jones said the only evidence in the case against Fultz is that he drove a getaway car.
"All he is accused of is driving the car," Jones said. "He may be an accessory after the fact."
Bingham's attorney, Matt Eichelberger, said the investigation has been going on almost four years and there is little evidence.
"To say that this case is weak as water gives water too much credit," Eichelberger said.
Hinds County Judge Houston Patton, however, sent the case to a grand jury on a murder charge and set bond at $125,000 each for Bingham and Fultz. He set a March 1 deadline for an indictment in the case or the men will be released from jail without having to post bond.
1. Walmart employee arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Arrest report: 4-16-14 COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Suspect shot Friday in alleged home invasion STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY