— Editor’s note: The following capsules, which appear in no particular order, are what The News Courier’s newsroom staff determined to be the top local stories of 2012.
From staff reports
3 murder cases
Three people were murdered in Limestone County during 2012. Trials are pending for suspects in two of the three cases. The suspect in the third case has not been identified.
The trial for James Paul "Jamie" Pigg, 34, of Lydia Corey Road will be scheduled sometime in 2013.
Pigg is charged with murder in the March 27 death of his grandmother, Barbara Delaney, 68, at her home at 18796 Lydia Corey Road. An autopsy showed Delaney died of blunt-force trauma to the head. Pigg, who was reportedly angry about being evicted, allegedly struck her in the head multiple times with a hammer and then shot her.
He pleaded not guilty to the crime in July due to mental disease or defect and remains in the Limestone County Jail with bail set at $50,000.
Athens brothers Brandon, 26, and Ryan Hydrick, 25, had left a cookout and marshmallow roast near Piney Creek on Sept. 29 and were heading home when they got lost about 3 a.m. on Fennell Lane, a dead-end road in Tanner. Joel Patrick Moyers, 52, who was staying in a mobile home owned by his mother on Fennell Road, saw the Hydricks stop in the night and became suspicious. He grabbed his assault rifle and a flashlight and headed out to investigate. When Ryan, who was driving, saw Moyers approaching he decided to leave the area. Moyers attempted to flag down the truck to get the license number but Ryan continued past him. Moyers fired what he later told sheriff's officials was "a warning shot," which pierced the tailgate, the back wall of the cab, the back seat and the front passenger, killing Brandon. Initially charged with felony murder and released on a $260,000 bail, a grand jury indicted Moyers on Dec. 7 on a charge of capital murder. Upon learning of his upgraded charge and surmising his bail would be revoked, Moyers attempted to harm himself, was hospitalized and later arrested. No trial date has been set.