Judge sends cases of two suspects charged in murder of Elba man to grand jury

ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — The evidence in the cases of Lena McGhee who’s facing a count of murder in the death of Ethan Hill and one count of attempted possession of a controlled substance and a juvenile facing one count of murder in the same death is heading to a grand jury after a preliminary hearing.

“We do feel like all the evidence presented today as Judge Wilson found supported probable cause for the murder charges,” Coffee County District Attorney James Tarbox said.

During the state’s testimony, an Elba investigator said the two suspects along with McGhee’s boyfriend Freddie McGee went to Jones Street to complete a drug deal with Ethan Hill. Hill didn’t have the money when Freddie McGee demanded it so they say he pulled out a handgun aiming it at Hill. An eyewitness tried to de-escalate the situation by trying to knock the gun out of his hands but then a fight started.

During the scuffle, McGhee the driver, and the juvenile got out of the car and shots rang out. One of the shots the state believes came from the juvenile as a warning shot for them to stop fighting. The investigator says the juvenile ended up hitting Hill in the head and firing a shot to his head area before getting back into the car.

After the eyewitness went inside after the first shot to call 911, he heard two more shots out of his window with all of the suspects outside of the car but Freddie McGee standing over him — Hill was shot in the cheek, thigh, and abdomen.

The suspects told police they thought he was still alive.

My client did nothing, there were no violence portrayed by her, at no point and time did anybody say she had a firearm at no point and time did they present evidence that she had any intent to kill anyone,” McGhee’s defense attorney Andrew Scarborough said.

The defense also questioned the eyewitness who they said had a history one being a drug arrest and questioned evidence on the scene.

“They only found 2 casings and so I asked how thorough they looked for this third casing,” Scarborough said.

However, after a search warrant of Mghee’s home, they found casings that matched the ones at the scene.

“It is enough to tie the defendant to the scene in some form or fashion or it shows the gun was at her home at one point,” Tarbox added.

Both suspects’ cases have been sent to a grand jury and are on track for trial. The third suspect is awaiting a preliminary hearing in April.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WDHN - wdhn.com.