MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Warren Hardy, a former bus driver for the company that contracted with Huntsville City Schools, appeared in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing. Hardy is accused of carjacking and murdering a 72-year-old woman after kidnapping three other people.

Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer called the hearing for Hardy, who has now been in the Madison County Jail for more than four years.

During the short hearing, Hardy had very little reaction to anything that was brought up. The prosecution, defense and Judge Comer all said everything seems to be on track for trial.

The jury pool is expected to be made up of about 80 people. The questionnaire sent to potential jury members will be heavily based on the one used in the capital murder trial of Christopher Henderson who in 2021 was found guilty of killing five people in New Market.

Hardy’s jury will consist of 12 jurors as well as four alternates.

“We’re putting the finishing touches on getting ready to try this case. How many jurors we’re going to have, working on the questionnaire. Just the last minute things before we have a trial of this magnitude,” Madison County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tim Gann said at the courthouse. “Of course, we missed a good year and a half with COVID, which has caused a delay, but I think now that it’s here we’ll be ready to go.”

Authorities say the shooting happened in the middle of what they called a “crime spree.” Court documents said the incident happened just days after Hardy’s ex-girlfriend filed a protection order against him.

In the hours before the shooting, Hardy allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and step-father. Police say he forced them to drive to another residence across town to look for Hardy’s ex-girlfriend.

Authorities said when Hardy found her, he forced her into the car at gunpoint, but her stepfather was able to drive away before Hardy could get back into the car. That’s when he approached the victim, Kathleen Lundy.
Police said she was leaving her house when Hardy demanded her car keys, shot her, then stole her car.

They say he then caught up to the car his ex-girlfriend and her family were in and fired shots into it, but the three were able to get away.

Hardy then fled to Tennessee where he was caught two days later.

Judge Comer did deny the defense’s motion to prohibit the State from seeking the death penalty against Hardy. The capital murder trial for Hardy is set to begin on April 4.