Witnesses say woman charged in Independence beating death was often seen with baseball bat

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Prosecutors have charged a 32-year-old woman with murder in the fatal beating of an Independence woman Tuesday evening.

Courtney A. Hackney

Courtney A. Hackney is charged with 2nd degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 57-year-old Holly Barnett.

Officers were dispatched to a home┬ánear East Walnut and Lee’s Summit Road around 5:30 p.m. after a caller said a person named Holly had been beaten to death with a bat. Police found Barnett’s inside the home, deceased and sitting in a recliner.

Police said a baseball bat was found nearby and appeared to have blood on it.

A resident of the home told police that Hackney had let her inside the home, telling her that Barnett was sleeping. The resident attempted to run out of the house, but Hackney tried to drag her back in. She was able to get free and call police.

Police later found Hackney in the area of Woodlawn Cemetery. Hackney reportedly told police Barnett was her aunt and said the bat was hers.

Witnesses told police they often saw Hackney carrying the bat.

Prosecutors have requested a $150,000 cash bond.

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