Breckenridge Texan

September 21
12:23 2017

Billy Minkley Jr.

The E.C. Blair murder trial took a dramatic turn this morning as confessed killer Billy Minkley Jr. took the witness stand and described in detail how he killed Leah Martin on May 29, 2015, at Blair’s auto repair shop in Graham.

Members of Martin’s family began to cry and console each other, and a couple of people jumped up and fled the courtroom as Minkley described hitting Martin in the head with a pry bar in the office of the shop.

Before Minkley started to testify, David Alex, special prosecutor in the case appointed to assist District Attorney Dee Peavy, informed the jury that Minkley had been offered a life sentence on a murder charge in Fort Worth; that charge had originally been capital murder, and Minkley had been facing the death penalty, if convicted.

During his testimony, Minkley acknowledged that he had spent several years of his childhood in a children’s home because of his behavioral problems. He also described his relationship with co-defendants Ross Hellams and Blair, as well as the discussions the three of them had about killing Martin.

Following the prosecutor’s questioning, Judge Stephen Bristow recessed the court for lunch. Defense attorney David Wimberley is expected to cross examine Minkley this afternoon.

The Breckenridge Texan will have a more complete story this evening, after today’s court session is complete.

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