Chattanooga family waits over 4 years for accused murderer's tri - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga family waits over 4 years for accused murderer's trial

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -  The family of a Chattanooga man killed four years ago says the road to justice has been a frustrating one.

Bernard Hughes was shot and killed during a home invasion in 2010. One of three suspects charged in the case, John Simpson, has yet to stand trial. He's fired multiple lawyers in the days leading up to his trial, forcing the date to be reset seven times since April 2012.

Now one of Simpson's co-defendants, Unjolee Moore, who was sentenced to life in prison, says he wants a new trial.

"Four long years. If it goes into next year, it'll be five years," said Berlinda Hughes, Bernard's mother.

"It's like, is this gonna end?" asked his twin sister, Berlinda.

Justice seems like a never-ending wait for the Hughes family.

Three people were accused of killing the 46-year-old four years ago. Hughes' mom and twin sister still refuse to miss a court date.

"I'm here to stand for him, and I'm gonna fight to the end for him," Berlinda said tearfully.

Two of the suspects, Unjolee Moore and Harold Butler, are serving life sentences. Simpson will go to trial next month.

Simpson was expected to take a plea deal on Monday, but that didn't happen.

"I wasn't happy with (the plea deal)," Berlinda said. "I want him to get life like his co-defendants got life."

Like Unjolee Moore, who was found guilty of Hughes' murder last year. He faced the Judge Don Poole right after Simpson on Monday.

"This has been going on for a long time," Poole told Moore. "Something needs to happen, would you agree?"

"Yes sir, I do," Moore replied.

Moore thinks his original attorney made errors during trial, and believes some of the witness testimony was false or incorrect.

His attorney, Charles Dupree, filed a motion asking for a new trial. On Monday, Moore asked Poole to appoint him a new attorney.

It's the same thing Simpson has done multiple times.

"I'm not trying to be like Mr. Simpson or anything like that," Moore told the judge. "I have not hired and fired, hired and fired."

Poole will decide whether or not to give Moore a new trial after he gets a new appointed attorney later this week. Meanwhile, Simpson faces a jury for the first time on December 9.

That leaves the Hughes family hoping that Simpson's trial will be the final step in justice for Bernard.

"After the 9th, hopefully it's over," Berlinda said.
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