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Continuances granted in murder cases of two women in McDuffie

A McDuffie County Superior Court judge has granted continuances in the murder cases of two women who were expected to have gone on trial this week.

One of the cases involves 70-year-old Thomson Helen Irene Ansley, who is accused of shooting her elderly husband, Fred Engus Ansley, to death at the couple's home off White Oak Road on Feb. 2, 2008.

Mrs. Ansley, who is being represented by Toombs Judicial Circuit Public Defender Harold Wallace, has entered not guilty pleas to the following charges: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to court records.

Authorities say she shot her husband to death with a single shot to the chest from a .22-caliber handgun.

The scheduled murder trial was expected to have gotten underway sometime this week, but because her defense attorney recently underwent surgery, the case was continued by Superior Court Judge Harold Hinesley.

The second unrelated murder case involves Antonia "Toni" Lowe, of Hephzibah, accused of killing a friend by running over her with a vehicle back in the summer of 2006. Lula Bell Scott's skeletal remains weren't found for several weeks. Ms. Scott, formerly a resident of Thomson, once lived with Ms. Lowe at her home in South Augusta.

A relative of Ms. Scott had reported her missing in September of 2006 to local authorities.

An article that appeared in The McDuffie Mirror prior to an arrest being made in the Scott murder case actually led to information being developed by state authorities that ended up with Ms. Lowe being charged.

Ms. Lowe has entered not guilty pleas to the charges filed against her.

She is being represented by Augusta attorney Michael C. Garrett.

As of Monday, trial dates for those murder cases had not been rescheduled, according to McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk Connie Cheatham.

Web posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009

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