Snellville woman tortured before murder

A Conyers man is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail after an initial court hearing Thursday where a detective testified that he tortured and executed a 61-year-old woman earlier this month.

Damion Barton, 31, had lived with the victim and her husband in their Snellville home and had known her well enough to call her "aunt," the Gwinnett Daily Post reported on its website. After they kicked him out, he returned and killed Eva May Francis in her bedroom, said the detective, Shelly Millsap of the Gwinnett Police Department, according to the newspaper's account of the hearing in Magistrate Court.

Francis and her husband, Earl, own several businesses and she was known to come home with bags of cash, Millsap testified.

When police found her body, her hands had been bound with a phone cord and her mouth had been taped. She had been shot at least a half-dozen times.

Records indicate that Barton's cell phone was near the home at the time of the murder though he said he was not there, the Gwinnett paper said. But Barton's attorney, Edwin Wilson, said there was no evidence linking Barton to the crime scene.

Judge Bob Mitchum bound the case over to Superior Court.