Plea deal reached in ‘09 murder
Nov 14, 2012 | 5026 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stephanie Newman
Stephanie Newman
Walker County Circuit Judge Doug Farris sentenced Michael Wayne Humphries to 30 years for the 2009 murder of Stephanie Newman, of Townley. Humphries was scheduled to go to trial this week, but instead agreed to plead guilty to the charges against him.

On Dec. 21, 2009, 22-year-old Newman borrowed her father’s car and drove to the Jasper Walmart to do some Christmas shopping.

According to Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair, video surveillance from the store shows Newman getting into a car with Humphries. Adair also said the evidence would have shown that Humphries took Newman to a location off Old Field Road and shot her with a handgun. Surveillance from the store also shows that Humphries returned to Walmart later that day and used gift cards he had taken from Newman to make several purchases.

Humphries led authorities to Newman’s body in 2010, where her remains were recovered and identified using dental records.

Adair said he wanted this case closed by the end of this year, especially since the family, including Newman’s young son, had been through an ordeal. “Mr. Newman has had to endure, not only the death of his daughter, but when you can’t make peace by going to the funeral home and seeing your loved one, it makes it overly difficult,” Adair said. “I have three daughters, and as a father you always feel very protective of your daughters.”

Adair said he was grateful to everyone involved in the case who made it possible to get the plea. “I really appreciate the hard work of the investigators in this case, Frank Cole and John Softley, as well as the sheriff’s investigators, and Chris Sherer and Holly Farmer of my office.” Adair said. “They all spent a lot of time putting this case together. This was a case where we had to use dental identification so we had a local dentist, Dr. Aswell, and his staff who helped us get the X-rays and things that we needed for that.”

Ron Newman also expressed his appreciation to those who helped catch and prosecute his daughter’s killer. “We would like to thank this office — Bill, John Softley, Frank Cole — who have just done a tremendous job,” he said. “We’re very grateful. We want the people of Walker County to know what this office is doing for the people.”