DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – It’s been almost two years since 11-year-old Amberly Alexis Barnett was found strangled to death in the woods near her home in DeKalb County.
The man facing the death penalty in her slaying is no closer to trial or even a grand jury presentation due to the pandemic.
Christopher Wayne Madison, now 35, was charged in Amberly’s death the day after her body was found behind his house.
In 2019, a DeKalb County investigator testified that Madison told authorities he had helped look for the missing girl by searching the woods near his home.
Investigators found Amberly dead in the woods behind Madison’s home, with a blue rope around her neck, on March 2, 2019.
According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Bob Johnston, in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic closed or greatly limited operations at crime labs that perform that kind of analysis and the case has remained stalled.
Officials say there is currently no timeline on when court will resume normal operations.