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Two accused killers have status hearing in Coffee County

Two men each charged with murder in separate cases had their status hearings Monday morning at the Coffee County Courthouse in Enterprise.

Family members of the victims sat feet away from the accused killers.

Thomota Jones is charged with the murder of YaVari Allen. Malcolm Hunter is charged with the murder of Ayanna Smith, who has not been seen since January of 2017.

It's one of the first times in Coffee County's recent history that the state is moving forward without a body.

"Wave to the camera," Thomota Jones tells deputies after his status hearing Monday morning.

At the hearing, Jones' attorney assured that the state was complying with discovery.

"For him to be so arrogant and show no remorse and try to play those legal tricks it makes my blood boil," said YaVari's mother, Carlisha Allen.

His attorney requested that photos of Jones posing with guns on his Facebook page to not be part of the state's evidence since the weapons in the photos were not related to the case.

The defense previously filed a Motion to Suppress regarding an audio recording of Jones and officers after the murder at Jones' grandmother's house, when Jones told officers he was at his girlfriend's house the time of the shooting.

The defense says it should be suppressed because if used Jones would have to take the stand which he says would be against his constitutional rights.

The Motion to Suppress was denied by Judge Jeff Kelley.

He also waved is right to an immunity hearing in relation to stand your ground law but may still use self-defense.

"My husband and family will move on from our lives and never have to look an Thomota Jones again in my life," said Allen.

Malcolm Hunter , charged with Ayanna Smith's murder, though her body has not been found, also had his hearing Monday.

Smith disappeared in January 2017 and has not been since.

At Hunter's hearing the state was granted more time to comply with discovery.

Jury selection for both men will be May 2. Trial for both men in each case is set for May 7.


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