Less than a month after a murder charge was dropped, a 52-year-old felon was indicted again Thursday in the 2011 baseball bat beating death of a 26-year-old Southern University student.
Timothy Wayne Washington was set to stand trial last month on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of Sheena Marie Barnett, but East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors decided to dismiss the charge Oct. 11 because they could not find several key witnesses and state District Judge Beau Higginbotham refused to delay the trial.
Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against a 52-year-old felon in the 2011 baseball bat bea…
"Consistent with our commitment to pursue justice in this case, we have located the two witnesses who are essential to our prosecution," District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday.
Washington, of Baton Rouge, was charged again Thursday with second-degree murder by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.
"This is a bad, bad case," Washington's attorney, Bob Tucker, said shortly after the new indictment was returned. "It's purely circumstantial. I don't see that anything has changed in this situation."
Prosecutor Barry Fontenot said he would seek a warrant for Washington's arrest.
Barnett's body was discovered Feb. 19, 2011, inside her burning GSRI Avenue apartment. Her head was severely beaten, and a partially burned bat with blood on it was found near her body.
Washington's DNA was discovered on the bat, but his attorney, Bob Tucker, has said his client and Barnett were acquaintances and there is nothing unusual about his DNA being found in the apartment.
The witnesses that prosecutors could not locate before last month's scheduled trial identified Washington as the man who was with Barnett the evening before her body was found.
Washington previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison in the 1999 killing of rap artist Walter Servick during a party on West Garfield Avenue. He also has a 1992 second-degree battery conviction for choking a woman at a West Roosevelt Street residence.