Pandemic stalls evidence analysis in case of Alabama girl strangled to death in 2019

Published 7:22 am Monday, February 8, 2021

Justice is no closer for the family of an 11-year-old Alabama girl strangled to death than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Christopher Wayne Madison, now 35, was charged in the death of Amberly Alexis Barnett the day after her body was found behind his house.

Analysis of forensic evidence in the case has stalled due to the pandemic, leaving Amberly’s family waiting to see Madison go to trial.

Because the forensic reports are still pending from the FBI, the case can’t move forward. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic closed or greatly limited operations at crime labs that perform that forensic analysis and the case has remained stalled.

The evidence has to be presented to the grand jury, according to chief deputy district attorney Bob Johnston.

The case didn’t make it to the grand jury by the end of 2019.