The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 11, 2012

Preliminary hearing delayed in slaying of local grandmother

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— A preliminary hearing for a Limestone County man accused of murdering his 68-year-old grandmother in March has been rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 24.

Harlan Mitchell, the Athens attorney appointed to represent Paul “Jamie” Pigg, 33, asked the court for a two-week delay to give him time to prepare.

District Judge Jerry Batts granted the request and reset the appearance.

The upcoming hearing will determine whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime. If so, a judge will order a trial. The prosecution will typically still seek a bill of indictment from a grand jury in the case.

Pigg is accused in the March 27 fatal attack on his grandmother, Barbara Delaney, at their home at 18796 Lydia Corey Road in the Owens community west of Athens.

Just after lunch that day, a witness, who was mowing the lawn at a relative’s home two houses down from the Delaney home, heard a woman outside shouting about someone attacking her. When he ran to assist, the woman, Delaney, asked him to call 911 because she was being beaten with a hammer. At that moment, Pigg exited the home and told the witness “We’ve got it under control here.”

As the witness was heading to the house to call 911, he heard multiple gunshots.

Authorities arrived to find Delaney lying in her yard unconscious but breathing. Sheriff Mike Blakely said Delaney appeared to have two entrance wounds caused by a small caliber handgun. She died from blunt force trauma and gunshot wound about 4 p.m., he said.

Pigg, who had fled in his grandmother’s Mercury Montego, was arrested later in Decatur.

Authorities have not stated what prompted the killing, though Delaney had obtained an eviction order for Pigg from the court and the Sheriff’s Department had recently served it.

Pigg had been charged with third-degree domestic violence (harassment) in 2010 for cursing at his grandmother in the presence of a deputy who the grandmother called to the home because she wanted Pigg to move out.

Pigg is charged with first-degree murder but the prosecution will consider charging him with capital murder, which is murder in the commission of another felony crime.

Pigg remains jailed on $100,000 bail.