PHOTO: Terry Lee McKinney, 60 of Cedar Bluff, was arrested for allegedly killing his handyman last year. (Cherokee County Jail)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
CENTRE, Ala. — Terry McKinney, the Cherokee County man accused of murdering his handyman and dismembering the body with a chainsaw, will start his jury trial on October 31, Halloween.
Terry Lee McKinney, 60, of Cedar Bluff was arrested on March 29, 2015 after body parts had been found scattered along County Road 82. Leroy "Pete" Foster, 63, of Cedar Bluff was reported missing by his mother two days prior.
Foster worked as McKinney's handyman. McKinney, who is a paraplegic and bound to wheelchair, is accused of killing Foster. Foster had worked for McKinney for several years doing household chores for the disabled man.
According to investigators, authorities were notified to the area after a dog brought up human remains two days after Foster's reported disappearance. Upon a search of the area, police found a torso, thigh, knees, and several other body parts. The remains were scattered between 5 and 10 miles down the road.
Investigators then executed a search warrant on McKinney's residence, and turned up several items with Foster's blood and tissue on them, including a chainsaw, believed to be what McKinney used to dismember Foster.
Shortly after McKinney's arrest, he was transferred to the Etowah County Jail due to health reasons, where he remains until his trial.
"Once they are arraigned, we just automatically set them on the next jury trial docket, and that's our jury trial docket for that week," said Pam Simpson, DeKalb County Circuit Clerk
"The court calendar is made out a year ahead of time, so we have our jury trial week, we usually have two criminal jury trial weeks and a civil trial date," Simpson said.
"The plea date will be the 28th, which if he enters a plea of guilty, he won't have to go to trial," said Simpson.
A guilty plea seems unlikely, as McKinney claimed to investigators that he dismembered and disposed of Foster, but did not kill him.