PRINCETON — Terry Blevins waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Beckley Road double homicide last week, and hours later, his girlfriend was arrested in connection with the incident.

Blevins, 23, of Washington Avenue in Princeton, was arrested Aug. 12 and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in the deaths of James Barton Jr. and his wife, Dolores Barton, both 74, of Princeton. The Bartons were reportedly beaten to death before their home was set ablaze at approximately 1:30 p.m. Aug. 11.

Blevins, who was slated for a preliminary hearing last Thursday, gave up his right to the hearing. Within hours, a second suspect had been formally accused.

Mercer County Sheriff’s Department Det. Capt. M.L. Gills confirmed this week that he arrested Brittney Morgan Davis, 19, also of Wash-ington Avenue , Friday, Aug. 15. She was charged with being an accessory to murder, Gills said.

He declined to comment on her role after the homicides, but Gills said her involvement was allegedly connected to the Bartons’ death.

She was reportedly arraigned before Magistrate Roy Compton and was free on bond as of last report.

Although Blevins opted out of the preliminary hearing, additional information in the Bartons’ death surfaced late last week.

According to a report Gills filed in the investigation, officers concluded James Barton’s body was located in an outbuilding nestled behind the family’s tidy house and near their gardens. The early investigation indicated he had been beaten, possibly with a crowbar and hatchet.

Inside the home, passersby located Dolores Barton in the kitchen area of the Beckley Road home, where the officer reported she appeared to have been beaten with a baseball bat.

Witnesses at the Bartons’ home that fateful afternoon reported seeing a silver Hyundai fleeing the scene of the fire, and MCSD officers located a suspect vehicle on Washington Avenue.

Blevins was detained on another charge, until officers allegedly found evidence to tie him to the homicides and arson.

Blevins remained in custody in the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver this week. Circuit Court Judge William Sadler opted against allowing bond during a hearing last week.

— Contact Tammie Toler at ttoler@ptonline.net.

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