Jury finds man guilty of murder despite absence of victim's body

Jury finds man guilty of murder despite absence of victim's body
Victim Ayanna Smith

COFFEE CO., AL (WSFA) - A man has been found guilty in Coffee County for murder despite the lack of the victim's body.

Malcom Hunter was found guilty Wednesday by a Coffee County Enterprise Division jury of murdering 26-year-old Ayanna Smith.  District Attorney Tom Anderson says the jury took less than an hour to reach their verdict.

Hunter's case was the first in recent history of the 12th Judicial Circuit, and one of the few in Alabama, that resulted in a murder conviction without the recovery of the victim's body, Anderson says.

Smith was reported missing in January 2017. Anderson says evidence at trial indicated Smith shot Hunter and disposed of her body and the murder weapon.

A sentencing hearing for Hunter is scheduled to take place on June 11 at 9 a.m. in the Enterprise Courthouse. Anderson says the state will seek the maximum sentence of life without parole.

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