COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The suspect in a Columbus murder case that happened back in 2008 has been indicted by a Muscogee County grand jury.
Ricky Powell is accused of killing Columbus realtor and landlord Herta Bailey. Bailey's death changed the way realtors conduct business out in the field.
Sandi Green says, "When Herta first died we were all in shock that something like that happened in the Columbus area. You think that kind of thing happens elsewhere."
Green remembers when Herta Bailey was brutally killed allegedly at the hands of her own tenant. Her death prompted many local realtors to take a number of safety precautions.
"The people were out and buying mase guns and that kind of thing," says current VP of Columbus Board of Realtors, Tracy Dean. She says nearly two years after Bailey's death, many realtors are still cautious, but she admits policies are more lax now.
"If we are showing houses we always then stand towards the door so we can be the first to get out of the property," says Dean. She says there are some basic common safety rules that should always be practiced.
"Never go into a home by ourself. If we are meeting someone at a property that we don't know; if they are not one of our normal clients then generally we'll take another agent with us," says Dean.
The President of Phenix City Board of Realtors Rick Gordon has made changes too. He doesn't take random calls from the internet unless he's identified them.
"We really try to identify the contact where you get the leads so it's not some random saying I got your name through over the internet," says Gordon.
He says the Phenix City Board of Realtors has a way to get a hold of every agent whose a member in case of an emergency.
"The board has everybody's email addresses. They know how to text them by phone and we've had several briefings on security," says Gordon.