Christopher Madison has plead guilty to the murder of 11 year old Amberly Barnett. According to court documents Christopher Madison was living beside a relative at Amberly Barnett, where the 11 year old was staying, Madison would bring Amberly into his home where she was murdered. The next day Amberly Barnett.body would be found behind Christopher Madison’s home and blood was found inside of Madison’s bathroom. Christopher Madison was initially facing the death penalty however by pleading guilty to the murder he received a reduced sentenced of life in prison without parole.
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Christopher Wayne Madison today pleaded guilty to capital murder in the 2019 strangling death of 11-year-old Amberly Barnett.
Madison, 36, of Cedar Bluff, entered the plea in DeKalb County District Court today, a little more than three years after the girl’s death.
He was sentenced to life without parole, according to court documents. Prosecutors had initially sought the death penalty.
A trial had been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barnett disappeared March 1, 2019, Madison was charged in Barnett’s death the day after her body was found behind his house.
He was living at the time next door to the girl’s aunt, at whose home Barnett had been staying when she disappeared.
Madison claimed he saw a dark Dodge Durango pull into the driveway at Barnett’s home.
But neighbors said they never saw the vehicle, and other evidence contradicted Madison’s story about the SUV.
On the night Barnett was reported missing, Madison claimed he had searched a wooded area behind his home without finding any sign of the missing girl, an investigator testified in 2019.
Hours later, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office found Barnett’s strangled body at first light, lying in the woods with a blue rope around her neck.
Inside Madison’s home, investigators found a bloodied pair of his jeans in the dryer. There was blood in the bathroom sink and on the walls, mattress, bed frame and a sheet of paper in a bedroom.
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The man that was arrested and charged with murder for killing 11-year-old Amberly Barnett pleaded guilty in a DeKalb County Courtroom.
On Thursday morning, Christopher Wayne Madison entered a guilty plea. He was given an immediate sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole
Initially, the state was seeking the death penalty against Madison.
According to reports, the family requested prosecutors to accept Madison’s guilty plea, in hopes of sparing them from having to endure the graphic evidence that would be presented during the trial.
Madison was arrested in 2019 during the investigation into the death of Amberly Barnett. The 11-year-old’s body was found in a wooded area, just 200 yards from Madison’s home.
Barnett, who was from Georgia, was visiting her aunt – a neighbor of Madison’s. Amberly was reported missing on the evening of Friday, March 1, 2019. Her body was discovered around 6:30 the following morning. An autopsy would show she was strangled.
An investigator with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at the time testified that Madison told them he had searched the woods near his home, but couldn’t find Barnett.
Investigators say that’s exactly where they found her, though, with a blue rope still tied around her neck.
Madison’s girlfriend reportedly told investigators that the same blue rope had been in their home. During their investigation, authorities found a clamp and bolt in the floor used in “bondage” activity, along with blood spatters and more rope wrapped around Madison’s knife.
Madison was arrested that Saturday evening on a drug charge and booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
Online court records show Christopher Madison was indicted for the murder on June 2, 2021. Several delays in the trial were brought on by the pandemic, and the case continued to be pushed back.
March 2022 marked three years since Amberly’s death.