A third person has now been charged in the 2018 beating death of a Walker County man whose body was later found on a roadside.
Authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of 37-year-old Anthony Hunt. He is charged with murder and abuse of a corpse in the slaying of Tony Wayne Duncan.
Two other men - David Earl Davis and Michael Scott Mathews were previously charged in Duncan’s killing but court records show the charges against Mathews were dismissed in 2019 after a grand jury failed to indict him. Davis was indicted but on a reduced charge of reckless manslaughter.
Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said as they were preparing for trial against Davis, they came up with new information that led them to Hunt. He said Hunt is believed to be the main aggressor in the case. Authorities said Davis is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter with a 10-year sentence in exchange for his testimony against Hunt.
"This case is several years old but it brings some relief to the family,'' Adair said. “One of things my office stands for is victims and victims’ rights and we will never cease working on any case if we can help bring closure to the victim.”
Family members reported Duncan missing April 20, 2018. He had last been seen April 28 around 9 p.m. They became concerned when Duncan did not return home to care for his dog, which they said was “highly uncharacteristic” of him.
Adair, Sheriff Nick Smith and investigators Frank Cole, Mike Cole and Brian Keeton held a press conference Thursday. Family members of Duncan were also present.
A truck was found burned on No. 2 Hill Road just after midnight Sunday--just hours after Duncan was last seen, officials said. Deputies were not able to identify who owned the truck and had it impounded. Investigators later determined the truck belonged to Duncan.
Investigators and family narrowed their search area to Jagger Road, which was initially unsuccessful, but family members later returned to the area and found Duncan’s body in some thick weeds about four feet off the roadway on Jagger Road.
According to the indictment against Davis, the slaying happened April 28 while near McDaniel Road and Nauvoo Road. Authorities contend Duncan was badly beaten and the suspects left him “badly hurt in a remote location unlikely to be found.” Court documents also state that Duncan’s 1995 Chev S-10 pickup was stolen, as were boots and a credit card.
The case against Hunt is expected to be presented to a Walker County grand jury as early as Friday. Authorities said they expect at least one more arrest in the case.
"Time may pass but one thing that will never stop is our pursuit of justice,'' the sheriff said.
Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Cole agreed. "If you’re involved in a homicide, don’t sleep,'' Cole said. “Some day somebody’s going to knock on your door.”