An Independence woman faces murder charges in the fatal beating of her aunt on Tuesday.
Courtney A. Hackney, 32, of Independence, was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of her aunt Holly Barnett, according to the Jackson County prosecutor.
Independence police were called to a house on the 700 block of East Walnut Street at 5:36 p.m. Tuesday when a caller said a woman had been beaten to death at the house.
According to court documents, when police arrived they found Barnett, 57, dead in a recliner and an aluminum baseball bat inside the home with blood on it.
A witness who lived with Barnett told police that when she returned home, the back door was locked. She knocked and Hackney opened the door. The witness then said she found Barnett in the chair with a bloodied face and blood on the walls.
According to court documents, Hackney told the witness that Barnett was sleeping and that the blood was “makeup.” When the witness ran out of the house and around to a front window in an attempt to wake Barnett, Hackney allegedly tried to drag the witness back into the house.
The witness was able to get free after a short struggle and called police.
After police talked with the witness and got a description, they found Hackney near Woodlawn Cemetery and arrested her.
According to court documents, Hackney told police she had moved to Independence from Detroit a few months ago and was living with her aunt. She told investigators that the bat was hers.
Another witness told police he had allowed Hackney to live with him and awoke one day to see Hackney standing over him with the same bat. He asked her to leave and she allegedly said when she was leaving with the bat that she was going to the house of Barnett’s deceased brother to “claim what is mine.” He asked her how she was going to do that, she replied “with this bat,” according to the court documents. Hackney also allegedly told the witness that she was a “demon” and wanted revenge on her enemies.
Prosecutors have requested a bond $150,000 cash.
The homicide is the third one this year in Independence.