An arson case dating back to 2019 was still being deliberated by the jury Monday morning at the branch Courthouse in Albertville.
At press time, the jury had not reached a verdict in the case against Kenneth Barksdale.
The crime occurred in May of 2019 when Barksdale was arrested and accused of setting a trailer on fire in Boaz. At the time of the fire, seven people were inside.
The trial began last week. The jury went into deliberations on Friday.
Marshall County Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Bray and Adam Culbert argued that Barksdale knew full well what he intended to do the night of the fire despite the defense pushing for a verdict of not guilty due by reason of a mental defect.
The night the crime occurred, Boaz officers stated they were called to a fire and were told people were in the home. Two officers entered the home and rescued a disabled person on oxygen.
Investigators discovered Barksdale had set fire to the home after an argument had been going all day. He fled the scene, but officers said he returned around 2 a.m.
Barksdale was arrested and charged with first-degree arson and three counts of domestic violence. He was taken to the Boaz City Jail.
Both the prosecution and the defense gave their closing statements on Friday. Bray approached the jury first.
“As I prepared my closing arguments last night, I looked back and thought about this case from the beginning of the trial,” she said. “I couldn’t help but think about how blatantly obvious it is that Mr. Barksdale is guilty of this crime. We’re asking that you, the jury, find him guilty of 1st degree arson. We have provided the evidence needed to show he committed the crime and did so knowing there was at least one person inside that mobile home.”
Bray showed pictures to the jury one final time that showed Barksdale inside a gas station close to where the crime occurred wearing the same clothes he was arrested in. He was also shown in the video purchasing $5 worth of gasoline. The gas can he used was also found at the scene during the investigation.
Defense attorney John Paul Burson argued that Barksdale’s mental state at the time should keep him from being found guilty of 1st degree arson. According to Burson, Barksdale had a history of paranoid schizophrenia and showed signs that he was suffering from the mental disease the day the alleged crime occurred.