Prosecutors charge woman in Independence homicide

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) _ A 32-year-old woman has been charged with beating her aunt to death with a baseball bat in an Independence home.

Courtney Hackney was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of Holly Barnett who was found dead Tuesday in a recliner. No attorney is listed for Hackney in online court records.

Court records say a woman who lived with Barnett noticed her in the chair and that Hackney said she was sleeping. The woman then ran from the house but Hackney attempted to drag her back inside. She called police after getting free.

Responding officers found Barnett dead and recovered a bat that appeared to have blood on it. Hackney told police Barnett was her aunt. Witnesses said they saw Hackney frequently carrying the bat.