The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 26, 2013

Athens mom comments on life sentence for daughter's murder



The hearing

Wearing gray and white prison clothes and with his hands cuffed in front of him, Anderson stood before Judge Baker Friday and confirmed his wish to plead guilty to murdering Defoe.

Martha told The News Courier she was glad Anderson, whom she calls by the first name Lamont, did not deny anything at the hearing. She had only one regret about the case not going to trial; that Limestone County residents should have heard the heinousness of the crime.

Anderson will be taken to Kilby prison initially but may be transferred to another prison to serve out his sentence, Jones said. Although Anderson will be eligible for parole at some point, Jones said he doubts the state will ever release him. If it does, Jones said, Anderson would probably be 80 years old before it happened.

Martha said the district attorney met Thursday with the Defoe family to ask if it would be all right to try to plea bargain the case if prosecutors felt they would be unable to prove the burglary charge, which would have been necessary to obtain a conviction on capital murder. Capital murder is a murder committed in the commission of certain felonies, such as burglary, rape or kidnapping. Jones said there was no evidence of rape found at the crime scene, and kidnapping could not be proved due to the unreliability of a witness who claimed to have seen Anderson and Defoe the night of the murder.

Defoe was seeking assistance at a domestic violence shelter at the time of the murder and had previously obtained a protection order to keep Anderson at bay, her mother said. Her body was found inside the abandoned school by Athens police officers who had been called to the scene after a passerby saw a woman’s shoes, book bag, coat and signs of a struggle in the area. Martha said her daughter was struggling to break free of Anderson, and that sometimes she would return to him by choice and other times he made her return by beating her and making threats of harm.

Text Only
Local News


Do you agree with the U.S. House’s decision to sue President Obama?

     View Results
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee