'Twilight rapist' on trial in Huntsville

April 3, 2012

By Cody Stark, Huntsville Item Staff Reporter

HUNTSVILLE — A former state prison employee dubbed the “Twilight Rapist” for his early morning sexual assaults on elderly women is on trial this week in Huntsville for an attack that took place in Leon County in July 2009.

Billy Joe Harris is being tried on charges of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony. The defendant, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in January 2011  for the sexual assault of a disabled woman in Edna, is facing five to 99 years if he is found guilty in this case.

The trial was moved to Huntsville after the defense requested a change of venue because it was believed that a fair or impartial jury might not be available in Leon County. The motion was granted, but the defense has elected to waive the right to a trial by jury and have District Judge Ken Keeling decide Harris’ fate.

Harris has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

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