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Murder trials dates to be set
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The deaths of Andrew Nichols and Ketitra Jones may have happened months, and for Nichols, years ago, but those charged in their cases are still making their way through the court system.

Sam Dumas Dawkins, Robert Vincent Lambert, Michael Scott West and Chad Ashley Allen

Charged with the 2009 murder of Andrew Nichols, Dawkins, Lambert, West and Allen have all joined issue and will be tried together.

According to investigators, Nichols was taken from the area of Ivy Street in Porterdale and transported to Dawkins' home on Deer Trail in Oxford. He was taken to a shed at the back of the property, beaten and shot to death, then transported to Walton County where his body was found Dec. 6, 2009.

A trial for the four men, along with their co-defendant, Tanya Wilson Owenby, who lived in the home with Dawkins, was scheduled to begin Sept. 17. However the state requested - and was granted - a continuance in the case.

District Attorney Layla Zon said that the ADA was disqualified because of inadvertently reading a sealed ex parte filing by one of the defendants. This means that the ADA cannot do anything on the case and cannot discuss what was read with anyone in the DA's office.

A new trial date has not been scheduled. Dawkins, Allen, West and Lambert are all charged with malice murder, felony murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and concealing the death of another. Dawkins has additionally been charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and theft by receiving stolen property.

Owenby faces charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of Schedule II controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine of amphetamine, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Hannibal Wayne McMullen

McMullen is charged with the February 2012 murder of his former girlfriend Katitra Jones.

It had been less than two months since Jones had been grated a temporary protection order against McMullen for allegedly stalking and threatening her, when he reportedly chased her down Washington Street in his vehicle, shooting her while she drove her vehicle.

A judge ordered a mental health evaluation be done on McMullen to determine his degree of criminal responsibility and sanity at the time of the act.

The goal of the evaluation is to see "whether the accused had the mental capacity to distinguish right from wrong in relation to the alleged act; whether or not the presence of a delusional compulsion overmattered the defendant's ability to resist committing the alleged act."

No trial date has been set for McMullen.