Church deacon murder case headed for retrial

March 10, 2011 8:13:33 AM PST
A new trial date has been set for the man accused in the murder of a Braggtown church deacon stabbed dozens of times.

Tori Neal, 21, is set for a new trial July 18.

A mistrial was declared in Neal's first trial in February.

Authorities say 89-year-old Charles Forest Davis, a war veteran, was stabbed 46 times during an apparent robbery back in September 2007.

The murder sparked a brief manhunt and forced a nearby school to lockdown.

In the first trial, officers testified Davis' stolen Buick turned up along with the suspects who tried to escape.

Both Neal and co-defendant Stefon Hinton were teenagers at the time of the murder. Hinton pleaded guilty last July to possession of a stolen vehicle in the case. The district attorney's office agreed to drop other felony charges against him, including first-degree murder, in exchange for his testifying against Neal.

No stranger to the law, Neal was recently arrested on drug charges back in December.

Prosecutors have built their case with what they believe is solid evidence linking him to the crime -- a garden glove with traces of blood recovered from the victims' stolen vehicle and cuts found on Neal's hands.

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