Neumar trial postponed at District Attorney's request

Betty Neumar

The North Carolina trial for Betty Neumar, the 79-year-old woman accused of hiring someone to kill her fourth husband, was postponed Monday because a new district attorney wants more time to review the file.

 

Neumar was scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. Monday.

"As far as a new date (for the trial), we don't know when," said Al Gentry, the brother of the man Neumar is suspected of hiring someone to shoot.

Ginger Efrid, a spokeswoman for the Stanly County District Attorney's Office, said she was not in the county and did not know the status of the hearing, although officials have referred all questions about the case to her.

Asked whether she could call her office and find out about the status of Monday's hearing, Efrid responded that her supervisor, newly elected District Attorney Reese Saunders, didn't want his staff talking to the media about it.

Authorities said last month that they expected the trial to be delayed so that Saunders could review the file on the slaying of Harold Gentry.

At the time, Efrid could not confirm a future delay but said her office would not oppose any motion by the defense to request a continuance.

The case was originally brought under then-District Attorney Michael Parker, whom Reese replaced in January.

It's been more than 21/2 years since Neumar, who is facing three counts of solicitation to commit murder, was arrested in Augusta in connection with the shooting of Gentry.

Over the past year, Neumar has missed court appearances.

She missed two hearings last summer. Both times, her attorney said she was ill. She appeared in court Aug. 16 to retain her attorney on two additional charges. She then missed her arraignment in October.

Harold Gentry's body was found in 1986 in the couple's rural North Carolina home about 45 miles east of Charlotte.

Neumar was arrested in May 2008 at her Cambridge Court home in Augusta, after a former police officer and a neighbor in North Carolina said that she tried to hire them to kill Gentry.

The latest indictment against Neumar alleges that she sought out two others to kill her husband in the months before his death.

She needed cash and was trying to collect on her husband's $20,000 life insurance policy, according to the indictment.

After Neumar's arrest, officials from Florida, Ohio and Augusta reopened cases after realizing that Neumar had been married five times and all of her husbands were dead. Charges have been filed only in the Gentry case.