Trial Dates Set for Wood Sex Family Suspects

Trial dates have been set for three more suspects in the Brittney Wood family incest and sexual abuse case.

Wood vanished in May-2012. Prosecutors say the investigation into her disappearance revealed a twisted web of sexual abuse involving family members and friends.

The mother of Brittney Wood – Chessie Wood – turned down a deal Thursday and will go to trial in March on child sex charges.

“I got an innocent client,” said her attorney Michael McDuffie. “We’re going to prove it.”

Chessie Wood’s sister Mendy Kent is currently in Metro Jail. Her trial was set to begin October 5th.

Billy Brownlee was convicted last year in Baldwin County and his currently in prison but he’ll be tried as well in Mobile County in January.

Brownlee was a friend of Donnie Holland, who committed suicide about the same time his niece Brittney disappeared in May, 2012.

Two other Holland friends turned down deals with the prosecution Thursday. One is James Cumbaa.

His attorney said the deal offered was “not acceptable.”

The other friend Butch Morgan remains jailed

His family and friends shouted at photographers and reporters at Government Plaza today. His wife was teary-eyed. His mother was angry.

“I just don’t understand why some people can get away with committing incest and then this one innocent person has to sit in jail for almost two years and hasn’t committed a crime,” said Peggy Albritton.

Trial dates for Morgan and Cumbaa could be set next month.

None of the 12 people indicted in this case has agreed to a plea deal.

“I had hoped that that would be the case,’ said prosecutor Nikki Patterson. “So far, it hasn’t turned out that way.”

Prosecutors and Brittney’s stepmother hope with convictions, lips will be loosened and the answers to Brittney’s disappearance.

“I don’t believe we’ll find out until one of them speak,” said Stephanie Hanke. “I don’t believe we’ll find out on our own, no. And I don’t think it will be out of one of their conscience. No. I believe it will be one of them turning on the other one, to get a better deal.”

Hanke says Brittney was killed because she was about to reveal to prosecutors the family’s sick sexual secrets.


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