A conference is set for next week to set a new trial for Courtney Hackney, accused of beating an Independence woman to death in May 2017.

Her previous trial ended last week with a hung jury.

Hackney, 34, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Holly Barnett, 57, who was found dead in a recliner with a bloody aluminum baseball bat next to it.

Jury selection at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse took place Dec. 17, and Circuit Court Judge Marco Roldan declared a mistrial last Thursday after the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.

According to court documents, a witness who lived with Barnett said she came home to a locked door and Hackney answered. After finding Barnett, the witness escaped Hackney's clutches and called police, who found Hackney in a nearby cemetery. Hackney claimed to police that Barnett was her aunt.

Another witness said Hackney had threatened him with a bat and then said she was going to a relative's house to “claim what is mine” by using that bat and that she was a “demon” who wanted revenge on her enemies.

Hackney had gone through a mental evaluation to determine if she was fit to stand trial.

WILLIAM LUTH: Luth, one of two men charged with raping a young woman in her Independence apartment while her 2-year-old daughter was in the room in February 2016, has a plea hearing scheduled for Jan. 24.

The hearing was scheduled during last Thursday's pre-trial conference with Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett.

Luth and Brady Newman-Caddell, also charged in the Independence crime, both pleaded guilty earlier this year to kidnapping and raping a Johnson County (Kansas) sheriff's deputy as she arrived for work in Olathe in October 2016. They dropped off the woman near the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, where she then found help.

Luth was sentenced in February to 41 years and three months for that crime. Newman-Caddell is scheduled to be sentenced in Kansas on Jan. 23. They were in jail after being charged in the Johnson County case when DNA matches led to them being charged in the Independence case.