Landrum trail is delayed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 2004

A highly publicized murder trial, set to begin in just more than a week, has been delayed.

Michael Landrum, 42, who faces murder charges in the Aug. 21, 2003, deaths of Ida Little and Mikayla Little, was scheduled to stand trial at the Marengo County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 18. However, District Attorney Greg Griggers said Friday that “issues have come up,” and the case has been continued by Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway.

“Because the case is pending, there’s just not a lot of detail I can give right now,” Griggers said. “I can tell you that we made an agreement with the defense that if there were issues with the evidence, we would not [have the trial on Oct. 18.]”

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Apparently, that’s what has happened. Griggers did say the issues surrounded a report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, but he did not elaborate.

“Now, it looks like we’re going to have to push it back to the February docket,” Griggers said.

The District Attorney did not say the report hurt his case, and he still believes the State has strong evidence against Landrum. Part of Griggers’ confidence may come from the plea agreement he reached with a second suspect in the double-homicide.

In April, Jeffery Napier, 22, admitted that he was involved in the murders. As part of his plea, the State agreed it would not seek capital charges against him.

“I took the life of Ida and Mikayla Little,” Napier said in court on April 2.

After his admission, Griggers asked if Napier was hired by someone to commit the murders.

“Yes,” Napier answered.

“And that someone was Michael Landrum?” Griggers asked.

Again, Napier replied, “Yes.”

As part of that plea, Napier also agreed to testify against Landrum in the trial, which was scheduled to begin next Monday.

Ida and Mikayla Little were found shot to death on the morning of Aug. 21, 2003, in a mobile home off County Road 44 near Linden. Mikayla’s mother was serving in the U.S. military in Iraq at the time of the homicides and has since filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Landrum. Wanda Little, Mikayla’s mother, and Candace Little, the daughter of Ida, are seeking punitive damages against Landrum for the deaths.