Alleged contract kill admissible in local trial

Mark Herrington Courtesy of: Columbus Police Department
Mark Herrington Courtesy of: Columbus Police Department

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  The murder trial for a Columbus man accused of strangling his fiancee is set to start April 5th.

On Monday, the judge ruled that some major evidence can be included.

Fifty-eight-year-old Mark Herrington is accused of choking his fiancee, Karen Carter, to death and leaving her body in the trunk of her car back in early 2007.

In a separate case, Herrington is also charged with setting up a contract kill- the target: his ex-wife, Peggy Lee.

Judge John Allen, the Chief of Muscogee County Superior Court says he will allow the alleged "murder for hire" plot to be included in Herrington's murder trial, along with alleged violence between Herrington and his slain fiancee.

But in court Monday, Judge Allen told the prosecution if they can't prove that evidence, it could lead to a mistrial.

The state says Herrington is obsessive and jealous and when rejected by a woman he is involved with, he wants them dead.

Court documents show the victim was allegedly leaving Herrington for another man at the time of her murder.

Herrington's attorney, Richard Hagler, says the state doesn't have enough evidence to convict him of carter's murder so prosecutors are "trying to throw everything in the same bucket."

Pretrial publicity is a big concern in this case. The prosecution, defense and victim's family members are under court order not to speak to the media.

Mark Herrington's trial is set to start Monday, April 5th.

He has been behind bars in the Muscogee County Jail since his arrest more than three years ago in January of 2007.

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