UPDATE: The trial has been delayed until Oct. 23, 2023.
A jury is set to hear the case of a man accused of burying a Trussville woman after authorities determined she died of an accidental overdose.
Fredrick Hampton, 53, of Birmingham, is charged with abuse of a corpse. He faces more than a year in prison if convicted.
Paighton Houston disappeared after going out with a friend from The Tin Roof on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.
That Christmas was to be the first she and her siblings would be all together with their parents on the holiday in years. Houston’s mother, Charlaine Houston, told 1819 News that for nearly two weeks, they didn’t know where Paighton was, but she did know in her heart her daughter was gone. It wasn’t until Jan. 3, 2020, that authorities confirmed they recovered Paighton Houston’s remains from a shallow grave behind a home near Hueytown.
The suspect in the case was identified as Frederick Hampton. U.S. Marshals joined the search and captured him in Cleveland, Ohio on January 29.
The Houston family later learned the Jefferson County Coroner determined Paighton died from an accidental overdose and toxicology just a few weeks later showed she had methamphetamine and morphine in her system.
Hampton, a convicted sex offender, is the only suspect in the case, although investigators said they believe others traveled with Houston from Tin Roof to a home in Brighton where drugs became involved. Investigators believe she died in that home and was later transported before being buried in the yard of the private residence on Chapel Drive near Hueytown.
The trial is scheduled for April 23 at 9 a.m. in Jefferson County. The trial has been postponed several times, including in January when Hampton’s attorney had a scheduling conflict.
Along with the criminal case, the Houston family has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Hampton, Tin Roof and the city of Birmingham, claiming Tin Roof overserved alcohol and did not have operable cameras as required by the city of Birmingham. The suit also states the family believes Hampton administered the drugs to Houston and that the city of Birmingham failed to ensure Tin Roof complied with the camera ordinance.
Multiple jurisdictions and agencies were involved in the investigation.
Charlaine Houston remains hopeful for the truth and has relied on her faith to get through the pain. She has used her experience to help and inspire others who are dealing with grief.
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