The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 8, 2012

Officers send found hammer to forensics

The News Courier

From staff reports

Acting on a tip, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office recently located a hammer that may have been used in the murder of a 68-year-old woman on Lydia Corey Road.

Capt. Stanley McNatt said investigators aren’t certain the object was used in the March 27 death of Barbara Delaney. The hammer has been sent to the state forensics laboratory for further testing.

Delaney’s grandson, 34-year-old James Paul Pigg, pleaded not guilty in July to felony murder and remains in the Limestone County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Investigators found the hammer on Oct. 31 in a watery spot off Highway 67 in Morgan County. McNatt said the discovery was made possible from information received by the department, but added the tip didn’t come from Pigg.

“We had been trying to locate the weapon here locally on the roadside in the event it had been tossed out of a car,” McNatt said. “The information led us to Morgan County and the hammer.”

McNatt said he didn’t know how long it would take forensics information to come back.

Pigg’s trial was initially set to start Dec. 3, but will likely be moved back. In December, Pigg’s attorney, Harlan Mitchell, asked the court at a preliminary hearing to order a mental evaluation for Pigg.

An autopsy showed Delaney died of blunt-force trauma to the head, after Pigg, reportedly angry about being evicted, allegedly struck her in the head multiple times with a hammer and then shot her, Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones has said.

Pigg was initially charged with murder the day of Delaney’s death, and formally charged April 19 after a grand jury handed down a murder indictment.