Woman accused of beating woman to death with baseball bat on trial in Independence

An Independence woman charged with beating another woman to death with a baseball bat is going to trial this week in Jackson County.

Courtney A. Hackney is charged with second-degree murder in the May 2017 death of 57-year-old Holly Barnett.

Barnett was killed inside her home in the 700 block of East Walnut Street.

Independence police found Barnett dead in a recliner chair and also found an aluminum bat with apparent blood on it, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

A witness told officers that when she came to the house she saw Barnett sitting in the chair with a red substance on her face. Hackney told her she was asleep and that the red substance was makeup, according to the documents.

The witness said that when she began to leave, Hackney tried to drag her back inside. She was able to break free and call for help.

Other witnesses told police that Hackney routinely carried the bat with her.

Hackney, 34, is also charged with armed criminal action.

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Tony Rizzo covers federal and state courts for The Kansas City Star, where he has been a reporter for more than 30 years. He is a Kansas City native and veteran of the U.S. Army.