Hearing cancelled for suspect in 2016 murders


The Moulton man accused of shooting and killing a father and son in Hillsboro in September of 2016 was scheduled to appear in court last week, but the hearing was canceled because the judge on the case was unable to attend, according to reports.

Earl Clayburn Coburn, 60, was arrested on Sept. 9, 2016, and charged with the murders of his former son-in-law, Micah White, 32, and White’s father, Hubert, 67.

According to former Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell, Micah White was shot in the head while sitting inside his truck in the parking lot of New Antioch Church of Christ. He was attempting to leave when Coburn used his vehicle to block Micah before the shooting.

A short time later, Hubert White was shot in the kitchen of his residence on County Road 217, about a half-mile from the Hillsboro church where Micah was killed, according to reports.

Mitchell said Coburn is the father of Micah White’s ex-wife, Amanda.

The couple divorced in 2007, but Mitchell said there had been a long custody battle over the couple’s daughter, who was about 11 years old at the time. The former sheriff believed a custody hearing that was held earlier on the same day the Whites were murdered may have played a role in the shootings.

Coburn was arrested shortly after the incidents following a brief standoff with sheriff’s deputies near Veteran’s Park on County Road 214.

Mitchell said Coburn told a deputy he had killed Micah, and then realizing he was going to be in trouble, he made the decision to go to the elder White’s home and kill him as well.

Coburn was indicted in May of 2017 on seven charges, including four counts of capital murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and two counts of menacing.

Following the indictments, Coburn plead not guilty by reason of mental insanity and evaluations began in December of 2017, a process that could take 18 to 24 months, according to attorneys on both sides.

Coburn was scheduled for a pre-trial on Nov. 26 before it was canceled. As of press time Tuesday, the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office had not rescheduled, and a jury trial has not yet been set.

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