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U.S. murder trial has ties to B.C.'s Kootenay region

A new CBC Radio documentary tells the story of a U.S. murder trial and the woman who fled to Nelson, B.C. out of a fear for her safety following a 2004 killing.

Woman fled to Nelson, B.C. out of fear for her safety following 2004 murder

Heather Lyn Brown fled to Nelson, B.C. to live in hiding because she feared her life was in danger. (Heather is found- we need your help/ Facebook)

A sensational U.S. murder case that reaches from the rural U.S. to Nelson, B.C., may get another day in court as the man convicted claims he did not receive a fair trial.

Charles James "CJ" Hatfield was killed near Dothan, Alabama, in March 2004.

In 2008, James Bailey was convicted of participating in the murder, but claims a combination of a forced confession and police misconduct in Alabama made it impossible for him to receive a fair trial.

Bailey also said through his lawyer Ruth Robinson that new evidence proves he did not commit the crime and in fact he was in another state when it occurred.

James Bailey, pictured in 2004, following an altercation in prison. (Submitted/ Ruth Robinson)

Bailey's former girlfriend, Heather Lynn Brown, was involved in his arrest but fled to Nelson in B.C.'s West Kootenay region before the case went to trial.

She said she feared for her own safety and could not stay in the state.

Bailey is now awaiting word about whether he will get a re-trial. 

In the following feature report, Alabama Justice, CBC reporter Bob Keating tells the full story of the murder and its ripple effect into Canada.

Click the link below to hear more:

CBC reporter Bob Keating tells the story of a U.S. murder trial and its ties to Nelson, B.C. 17:30

With files from CBC's Daybreak South and Bob Keating.