A Johnson County man charged with murder was back in court today
Attorneys for Gary Ward, 37 of Meally were back in Knott County Circuit court today, once again asking a judge to consider changing a bond that is currently set at 500,000 cash. Ward is accused in the murder of Christina Hale Barnett, 34 of Sitka. Wards attorneys had asked the judge in the case to lower the bond during his arraignment in November, The former request was denied. Wards attorneys again asked the judge to consider a property bond and home incarceration due to what they called details in the Case that bring into question whether Ward was the man that killed Barnett. Wards attorney told the court that witnesses had come forward that claimed to have seen Barnett with another man during the time frame in question. Another issue that, Wards attorney addressed was the time frame of the murder, saying a video and time stamped receipt showed Ward could not have murdered Barnett and disposed of her body and then make it to the business were he is seen on video in the time-line of events that is currently outlined.
Barnetts family members spoke with us after the proceeding saying "they are basically calling us liars and he was the last man she was with", A Knott County grand jury indicted Ward on charges of murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse. Barnett was reported missing on September 19th. Family and friends found her body in Knott County near Hindman just off Route 80 on September 25th. Wards attorneys asked to present new documents into evidence for the judge in the case to review before ruling on the request for a change to a property bond and home incarceration. The judge is expected to rule on todays proceedings at a later date.