Breckenridge Texan

Defense attorney continues cross-examination of Minkley

September 22
12:13 2017

Defense attorney David Wimberley continued his cross-examination of Billy Minkley Jr. most of Friday morning in the E.C. Blair trial being held in the Stephens County District Court Room.

Blair is on trial for the 2015 murder of Leah Martin in Graham. Blair, who owned an auto repair shop and was having an affair with Martin, is facing allegations that he hired Minkley and Ross Hellams of Graham to kill Martin because she had become a problem in his life.

Much of this morning’s testimony focused on inconsistencies between Minkley’s 2015 statements to investigators and his 2017 confession. In 2015, he admitted to being at the shop on the night Martin was killed, but he maintained that Blair and Hellams murdered the 22-year-old. He also admitted, at that time, to being involved in the disposal of her body.

In January 2017, Minkley had been charged with capital murder in a Fort Worth case involving the killing of three people. Minkley confirmed Friday that he did not change his story and confess to being the person who killed Martin until after he was facing a possible death penalty in Tarrant County and had an opportunity to make a plea deal that would remove that punishment option.

Throughout the morning, Wimberley questioned Minkley about his various statements to police.

After Friday’s lunch break, Minkley’s girlfriend, Emmie Moon, is expected to testify.

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

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