Ramsey murder trial delayed for fourth time
By By Suzanne Monk/The Meridian Star
June 10, 2001
Circuit Court officials in Lauderdale County say the murder trial of 24-year-old Joseph J. Ramsey will not begin Monday as scheduled.
Lawyers for both sides are expected to appear Monday morning before Circuit Judge Robert Bailey to set a new trial date.
Ramsey was indicted for murder in July in the shooting death of 51-year-old Murray Battle.
Battle's body was found March 8 in a shallow grave in Causeyville about 200 yards behind a home on Bunk Newell Road. Police investigators said they believed Battle was killed on March 4, inside the Meridian city limits, and his body transported to Causeyville the following day.
Ramsey surrendered to authorities several days after the victim's daughter reported him missing, and led investigators to the burial site. He was accompanied by his parents, and subsequently entered a plea of not guilty.
Two other men 20-year-old Kelvin D. Ephrim and 24-year-old Marquis S. Adams were indicted along with Ramsey as accessories after the fact of murder. Ephrim and Adams are accused of helping dispose of Battle's body. Both initially entered not guilty pleas, but later pleaded guilty and agreed to testify in Ramsey's trial.
Ramsey and Ephrim both listed addresses on Bunk Newell Road at the time of their arrests.
While it is not unusual in a murder case, this latest development marks the fourth time Ramsey's murder trial has been delayed. On the last defense motion for continuance, the reason listed for the delay was "awaiting test results requested by the defendant."
The judge's order approving a new trial date is expected to be filed sometime Monday.
Suzanne Monk is managing editor of The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3229, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.