FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 1
AG STRANGE ANNOUNCES CONVICTION OF MAN
FOR 1997 MURDER OF HIS WIFE IN JACKSON COUNTY
(MONTGOMERY)–Attorney General Luther Strange announced the
conviction of Barry Whitton for the 1997 murder of his wife, Michelle Townson
Whitton, in Jackson County. Whitton, formerly of Section, was found guilty by a jury
in Jackson County Circuit Court late yesterday afternoon following a nine-day trial.
Sentencing is set for October 15. He faces a penalty of 20 years to life imprisonment
for the Class A felony.
Attorney General Strange’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence that
Whitton murdered his wife, who was 28 years old, by bludgeoning her in the head
with a shotgun. He then placed her body in a shallow grave, and for 17 years went
uncharged for her murder.
“This case demonstrates the determination and dedication of law enforcement
officers to deliver justice no matter how much time has passed,” said Attorney
General Strange. “I am proud of the outstanding teamwork by people in my office
and those in many agencies to convict this killer and hold him to account for his
During the trial, forensic evidence was presented about blood that was found
in the bedroom of the Whitton home. Two witnesses testified that Whitton confessed
to them that he had killed his wife in the bedroom. Additional evidence was
presented about his disposal of her body, the shotgun he used to kill her, carpeting
from the bedroom and other related items. Further testimony was presented from
family and members of the community about Whitton’s actions and consciousness of
guilt following the murder.
Attorney General Strange commended those who worked on this case, noting
in particular the Assistant Attorneys General Leigh Gwathney and John Hensley of
the Criminal Trials Division and Special Agents of the Attorney General’s Cold Case
Unit. He thanked the sheriff’s offices of Jackson, DeKalb and Cullman counties, the
Jackson County District Attorney’s Office, the Alabama Department of Forensic
Sciences, and the State Bureau of Investigations.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300