Suspect in Clinton woman’s death thrown out of court

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The man accused of killing an 81-year-old woman from Clinton has been thrown out of a Jefferson County courtroom.

James Cobb Hutto III, 39, of Jasper, went on an expletive-filled rant before a judge ruled prosecutors could seek an indictment against him in a separate case, the beating death of his aunt, Virginia Rardon.

Hutto is charged with killing Rardon Sept. 15. Her death came during what police said was a two-state spree that started with the death of Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, whose body was found on a hog farm near Edwards, off Mississippi 22. An autopsy showed she died of blunt force trauma.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

It is believed Hutto met Simpson at the Baptist Healthplex in Clinton. The two were recorded Sept. 13 on security cameras leaving Riverwalk Casino in Vicksburg, four days before Simpson’s body was found. An autopsy showed she, too, died of blunt force trauma.

That same day, Hutto was arrested after Mark Cox, 56, of Opelika, Ala., told Lee County sheriff’s deputies that Hutto had robbed him, hit him in the head with a rock and stabbed him with a pitchfork.

Hutto, who has told authorities he is known as “hit man Hutto,” faces a capital murder charge in Simpson’s death. He also has been indicted in Lee County in the attack on Cox.

Hutto is also a convicted sex offender.