Special Report from Crime Writer Nick Ireland
Belle Mina. Now that’s a classy name. Too bad this spot on the Limestone County map doesn’t live up to expectations. Nothing in Belle Mina but a few old houses and the occasional store. Then there’s the stream.
Land that borders on the small stream running through Belle Mina is marketed as water front property. Sure. If it rains enough. Just like my backyard.
Who buys these choice lots? Locals call them Yankees and that about sums it up. Families that work in Huntsville or Madison just love the prices on these backwoods hideaways.
The Murray family was no exception. The daughter, that’s the Babe to us, considered it the ideal spot to entertain her Huntsville friends. That’s just what she did on Friday, September 28, 2012.
It was billed as a Halloween party. No matter that it wasn’t even October. It was cool at night and just right for what passed as a country cookout. Wieners, marshmallows, and beer? Probably plenty of beer judging from the Hydrick family photos on Facebook. What else was served? You can be sure the state’s pathologist knows what was in Brandon Hydrick’s system when he died.
The bash ended around midnight. Guests began to go their separate ways and the Beard (B. Hydrick) took the Babe back to her parents’ front door. The Babe says the date ended with a chaste kiss.
Then the Beard drove off into eternity.
The Beard’s brother Ryan wasn’t even close to him in looks. Doesn’t seem to have had as good a job either. You can bet your pickup truck that he was only invited to the Babe’s bash because he was the Beard’s brother.
The Bro left in his own vehicle when the Beard exited the cookout. What happened between midnight and three o’clock Saturday morning is anyone’s guess. The Bro knows, but he’s not giving out any of the details to the Beard’s adoring fans and mourning friends.
Brandon Hydrick often sported a bushy beard. Yeah, doesn’t sound too kissable, does he? But apparently the Babe was so taken with him that she picked him up at a charity run in Huntsville. The Beard was younger than the Babe and didn’t quite travel in the same social circles, but hey, a good man is hard to find.
Friends thought this relationship would go the distance, but it ended that Saturday morning when the Bumpkin put a bullet through the Beard’s chest.
Joel Moyers had lived in the same manufactured home since he was in grade school. He was now a rode hard 52 and had lived alone since his mother married the year before and moved to Cullman
The Bumpkin was afraid. The Limestone County sheriff stated there was little crime in the area, but actual reports say something else. Maybe there had to be a death before Mike Blakely considered it real crime He got that death early in the morning of September 29th.
The Bumpkin heard a truck around three o’clock. The Bro was now driving the Beard’s truck and they had returned to the scene of the cookout for reasons unknown. When the duo decided to turn around on the Bumpkin’s desolate corner, they made the mistake of their lives.
An SKS kept the Bumpkin company as he first followed them in his own truck and later marched toward the Beard’s vehicle in full confrontational mode. He flashed a light in the Bro’s face and told him to stop. The Bro hit the accelerator.
As the pickup passed the Bumpkin, Moyers raised the heavy SKS and fired. The question is where the Bumpkin aimed. Heck, maybe the question should be was he even strong enough to aim. His bullet traveled through the back of the truck’s tailgate, entered the cab, and finally juggernauted through the Beard’s chest. The Bro panicked and hit the accelerator again. He met with a tree that refused to get out of his way as he attempted to navigate a corner. The Bumpkin retired to his home and called the sheriff.
Bronwen Murray was as yuppie as you get in Alabama. She was going places and picked up the Beard to tag along. Good men are hard for those bluestocking babes to find and lasso. Now her man was dead.
The sheriff originally charged the Bumpkin with a manslaughter type crime, but the Babe was having none of it. Where would she ever find a replacement, and her eggs weren’t getting any younger.
Don’t worry. The Babe had a trump card. She worked for the Big Shot. He’d handle it while she made the appropriate mewing noises to play the sympathy card.
The Big Shot:
Parker Griffith was a prominent Huntsville doc and a former U.S. representative. Easy for him to place a few well-chosen words in the ear of the Limestone County D.A. Yeah, the D.A. knew which side his political funding was greased on.
The indictment comes down, and the Bumpkin is charged with Capital Murder. Hey, it’s Alabama. Justice is still scarce and usually a political tool. Yeah, we call it JuJu man justice around this state.
The trial? It’s coming. Let’s grab the beer and popcorn. Okay, no beer. Limestone County is dry. Too bad the Bro and the Beard grabbed their beers; maybe they’d both be alive right now and the Bumpkin tatting a new doily for his mother.
Joel Moyers was convicted of Capital Murder in May 2015.