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Man Chopped Victim after Killing Him and Burnt Limbs to Erase Evidence; Heading to Criminal Trial after Plea Deal Rejection in South Carolina

Man Chopped Victim after Killing Him and Burnt Limbs to Erase Evidence; Heading to Criminal Trial after Plea Deal Rejection in South Carolina

The denial of a proposed plea agreement for an individual implicated in the tragic incident involving the murder, dismemberment, and burning of another individual signifies that the matter will proceed to a formal criminal trial.

Eric Hempel’s case regarding the death of 35-year-old Harry Barkley has already been processed by a court in Georgetown County. However, he was expected to plead on Thursday in Williamsburg County regarding the charge related to the handling of the body following the crime.

However, Hempel’s defense team declined a plea deal related to a charge involving the mistreatment of human remains, as reported by Barkley’s family as per Live5News

It has been a challenging and lengthy journey. Unexpectedly, Barkley’s sister, Christina Turner, expresses gratitude for the support received from the county.

Turner shares that the family departed with a blend of emotions. Although they are relieved about the opportunity to proceed to an official trial, they are bracing themselves for the upcoming battle in order to find closure.

Georgetown’s actions were far from satisfactory. According to Yvonne West, Barkley’s mother, it seems as though they showed a lack of concern and effort. He was a well-behaved individual. It is truly tragic how he lost his life. The murder was extremely violent.

Barkley’s remains were discovered in a wooded area in 2021, a year after his disappearance.

Hempel and Shelby Francis Makaley Ashby were apprehended in 2021 in relation to the homicide. Hempel is facing serious charges including murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and accessory after the fact of murder. Ashby is facing an additional charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Ashby was set to give testimony against Hempel at the start of the trial, but unfortunately passed away due to an overdose while in the Georgetown County Detention Center.

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Hempel ultimately agreed to be sentenced after pleading guilty to the accessory charge in April. The Alford plea indicates that the individual did not admit guilt, but recognized that the court would have sufficient evidence for a conviction if a trial were to take place.

Following Hempel’s refusal of the plea agreement in Williamsburg County on Thursday, Barkley’s family was informed that a new court date is anticipated in September.

“Keep your loved ones close, because there is always that chance that you don’t get to say goodbye. And I believe that’s what hurts the most. And the grief that we’ve gone through the past several years, I don’t wish on anyone. Not even my darkest enemies,” Turner said in a statement.

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