Christopher Kevin Autry, whose two trials ended in hung juries, was arrested and charged with killing Lillian Irene Mize, 67, of 428 Floyd Springs Road, who was found in Armuchee Creek at Armuchee Park on May 10, 1996.
I want a new investigation not only to clear my name, but to find out who did it, he said. I try not to lose sight of that.
Autry said a third trial is what hes always wanted.
My family and friends said I shouldnt they are scared, but I want to show that Im innocent, Autry said. No, I was never found guilty, but its destroyed my life. I go somewhere and they say, youre the one that they say killed your grandmother.
Autry said he had a good relationship with his grandmother and had no reason to have killed her.
District Attorney Leigh Patterson would have to set a third court date but gave no indication she would do so.
Autry also has met with Floyd County Police Chief Bill Shiflett.
He said he wanted the investigation opened back up. All the evidence we had led to him being the primary suspect (in 1997 and 2002), and we still feel that way, Shiflett said. If (Patterson) wants to take him back to court, were all for it.
Autry, who was living with his grandmother at the time, was accused of strangling his grandmother and submerging her body with concrete blocks in Armuchee Creek in 1996.
Police said Mize had gone fishing at about noon May 8, 1996, and didnt return home that night.
I called my family and stuff (May 8) to let them know, but I thought I may have just missed her, Autry said. She was always going somewhere or visiting somebody.
He reported Mize missing May 9 after he and one of his grandmothers friends found her vehicle at Armuchee Park and Mize was nowhere to be found.
A dive team was brought in May 10 and her body was found.
Roughly three months later, Wanda Chipman came forward and became a prime witness in the case, leading police to charge Autry with his grandmothers murder, and a trial was set.
(Chipman) told police she saw me sitting in my grandmothers car at the park that day, Autry said. They didnt have any DNA or physical evidence. It was all circumstantial evidence.
He was first tried in June 1997, but the case ended in a mistrial. Ten of the 12 jurors favored acquittal.
I felt like I was a scapegoat for the county police, Autry said. You cant put a man in jail on a gut feeling.
Autry said following the first trial, his lawyers told him the case would probably never be opened again and to not worry about it.
The case went into a deadlock until 2001. This time Autry was charged in connection with Mizes murder and his mother, Pamela Jo Autry, was accused of hindering apprehension.
Click here to read a previous story about those charges.
A jury of nine men and three women failed to reach a verdict for a second time, although they were leaning 9-3 in favor of an acquittal. His mother was also acquitted of hindering apprehension.
Following the trial, Autry was returned to Smith State Prison in Glennville to serve the remainder of a sentence for a 1999 plea to charges of statutory rape and interference with custody. He was released in 2003.