MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The man accused of beating another man to death in what may have been a racially motivated crime is expected back in court Tuesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Morgan Barnhill. We may learn more about the state’s case against him.
25-year-old Etienne Murray was beaten to death. Morgan Barnhill, 27, was arrested and charged with murder on April 2nd after allegedly striking Murray on the head with a shovel on March 29. Murray died on April 1st.
A prosecutor told a judge during a bond hearing that the killing was motivated by Barnhill’s belief that the victim stole something from him, adding that they believe race is another factor in the crime. Barnhill is white, the victim is black.
A prosecutor testified Barnhill beat Murray with a shovel and pipe and left his body there for hours before calling the police. Police say Barnhill initially claimed he stopped a burglary but the state says his story unraveled and claims he eventually confessed to police.