Neumar trial could see 4th delay

Neumar

Prosecutors in the North Carolina trial for Betty Neumar, the 79-year-old woman accused of hiring someone to kill her fourth husband, could allow the Feb. 7 trial date to lapse.

If that happens, it will be the fourth delay in a case that has plodded through the Stanly County court system for more than 21/2 years.

In a phone call Thursday, Ginger Efrid, of the Stanly County District Attorney's Office, said she could not confirm whether the trial will be delayed, but said the county's new district attorney, Reese Saunders, would not oppose any motion by the defense to request a continuance.

"The defense is going to request a continuance and the state is not going to object to that continuance if that is done," Efrid said.

The case was originally brought under the former district attorney, Michael Parker, whom Reese replaced this month.

A message left for Neumar's attorney, Charles Parnell, was not immediately returned Thursday.

Neumar, who is out on bond and reportedly living in Louisiana, underwent a hysterectomy, officials said at a court hearing in October.

She missed two hearings this summer. Both times her attorney claimed she was ill. She appeared in court on Aug. 16 for a hearing to retain her attorney on two additional charges. She then missed her arraignment in October.

Al Gentry -- brother of Harold Gentry, one of Neumar's dead husbands -- said he had been contacted by Saunders, who said the trial could be postponed "indefinitely" while he reviews the case.

"It was a blow but at least it was a blow I can understand," Gentry said.

Neumar is charged with solicitation of murder.

The bullet-riddled body of Harold Gentry was found in 1986 in their 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 claimed that she tried to hire them to kill Harold Gentry.

The latest indictment against Neumar alleges that she sought out two more people -- a former police officer and another neighbor -- 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, the indictment said.

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

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