Metro jail warden: Accused murderer shanks cellmate - FOX10 News | WALA

Metro jail warden: Accused murderer shanks cellmate

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Greg Hackett is charged with the murder of 89-year-old John Higby. Photo: Mobile Metro Jail. Greg Hackett is charged with the murder of 89-year-old John Higby. Photo: Mobile Metro Jail.
Investigators said Hackett used this shank to attack his cellmate (Mobile County Metro Jail) Investigators said Hackett used this shank to attack his cellmate (Mobile County Metro Jail)
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

UPDATE: Jail wardens released a photo of the shank they said Hackett used to attack his cellmate.


FOX10 News has uncovered new details about a man charged with capital murder. He's behind bars for a crime that rocked the Port City two days after Christmas. 

Greg Hackett was arrested almost a month ago, accused of killing 89-year-old John Higby in a shopping center parking lot.

Hackett now has two more charges, after investigators say he stabbed his cellmate with a makeshift knife last week. We've also learned he's been granted thousands of taxpayer dollars to add another person to his defense team. 

Facing two counts of capital murder, Hackett could also be facing the death penalty. That means he's entitled to state-paid attorneys, and a mitigation expert, to defend him. A judge has granted him up to $10,000, on top of other legal fees, to hire the expert.

Local attorney Domingo Soto says a mitigation expert is legally required in a capital murder case, in some form or fashion, since every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. 

"That's part of what makes his prosecution fair...we're also lawyers, and we're not psychiatrists, and we're not psychologists, and we're not a lot of these other things that mitigation experts bring into the fold...the mitigation expert is gonna be doing the psycho-social stuff...gonna be rounding out the whole picture."

In other words, the mitigation expert looks into the defendant's past to help the case. 

But investigators believe they already have the whole picture of what happened two days after Christmas. Police say Hackett shot and killed Higby during an apparent robbery in the Dauphin Square shopping center parking lot, in broad daylight. Hackett was arrested a couple weeks later.

That's when Hackett told us he didn't do it. 

"I feel sorry for that man's family, whoever did that...it wasn't me," he told us on his way to metro jail.

He's been behind bars ever since. Hackett has since picked up two more charges for allegedly having a shank and attacking an inmate with it. Jail Warden Trey Oliver says Hackett somehow got a makeshift shank, or knife, and stabbed his cellmate three times in the shoulder and the arm. 

"He'll be kept in isolation, detached, away from the general population, I mean he's obviously proven several times now he can't get along with the other inmate population," says Oliver.

Hackett is now charged with assault and promoting prison contraband, which are also felonies. With no bond, he'll stay in metro for a while. 

His preliminary hearing was supposed to be on Monday, February 5th, but his attorney asked for an extension. Hackett has already pleaded not guilty. The hearing has been rescheduled for February 15th. 

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