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After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up October 20th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, October 20, 2017


Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- A Mobile County hit-and-run on Highway 43 involving a car and a motorcycle led to the arrest of suspect Charles Smith. After the crash, Smith fled the scene with his car pushing the motorcycle with him for two miles. Smith was booked into the Mobile County Jail on a Class C felony charge of leaving the scene. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison. The motorcyclist, Ashley Sanderson, was treated USA Medical Center.



- Two Birmingham men and one Jasper man are in the Jefferson County Jail after allegedly "borrowing" two trucks from a local business. Police were alerted to the theft after the GPS had been activated on one of the vehicles. The business was closed at the time of the theft and no worker had permission to use the trucks after hours. The caller informed authorities of the GPS location and officers eventually found one truck by a pond near Coalburg Road. Though two men tried to flee, officers arrested all three suspects, who said they "borrowed" the trucks to help get theirs out of the mud and planned to return the vehicles to the business. The police did not believe the men, charging Ronnie Dale Pruitt, Michael Lewis and Roy Pollock with two counts of first-degree theft of property each.




- A campsite argument during last weekend's Talladega Superspeedway race led to one man being shot and the other questioned by police. The wounded man had gotten the suspect into a headlock. The man responded by allegedly pulling out a small handgun and shooting the victim in the abdomen. The wounded man was treated at UAB Hospital and the other was questioned by police, who are still trying to determine the reason for the fight.

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.




Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up October 13th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, October 13, 2017


Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- Three of the men charged with the August shooting death of a two-year-old child at an Avondale (Birmingham) gas station have been denied youthful offender status. Four suspects (Tyrone Smith Jr., 18, D'Marcco Harris, 21, Mykayl Harris, 20, and Joshua Carpenter, 21) all face capital murder charges for shooting two-year-old Ron'Narius "Duke" Austin in the head while he was in the car with his parents and Donta Terrell. Terrell and Duke's mother, Toshima "Shay" Rembert, sustained injuries from the incident. Three counts of capital murder (one for Duke, one for shooting from a vehicle and one for Duke's death in a vehicle) as well as two counts of attempted murder for Terrell and Rembert have been charged to cousins D'Marcco and Mykayl Harris and two counts of attempted murder and two counts of capital murder have been charged to Smith and Carpenter. The Harris cousins and Smith were denied youthful offender status. 



- A Jefferson County grand jury recently issued eight-count indictments for a security fraud scheme against 65-year-old Steven Clyde Reed Brown of Vestavia Hills and 76-year-old Edward Malcolm Portman of Atlanta. The two men are charged with "multiple violations of the Alabama Securities Act including one count each of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities and sale of securities by an unregistered agent" as well as five counts of fraud in connection with the sale of securities. All charges are either Class C or Class B felonies. Brown and Portman were arrested within a week of each other in late September and were both released from Jefferson County Jail after each posted $195,000.


- This past Tuesday, Mobile police arrested a 39-year-old father for entering the campus of Scarborough Middle School and allegedly making threats against a student who had been teasing his daughter. Gabriel Lawson allegedly opened several classroom doors threatening to choke the student that he was looking for. The school went into lockdown, and the man was eventually arrested and taken to jail for 24 hours. Lawson was charged with third-degree criminal trespassing and making criminal threats. 

Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up October 6th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, October 06, 2017


Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- After making online threats not long after the Las Vegas shootings on Monday, a Bay Minette man is currently behind bars and awaiting a judicial hearing. According to the Bay Minette Police Department and Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, officers received numerous threats from the Facebook account of 23-year-old Joel Logan Gilliam. Gilliam referenced the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas and allegedly made several violent against the city of Bay Minette in his posts. After obtaining a warrant for terroristic threats (a Class C Felony), officers entered Gilliam's house and arrested the suspect. Gilliam was unarmed and later told police that the posts were simply a joke to provoke a reaction from the public. He is being held at the Baldwin County Sheriff's Correction Center without bond.

- Four teens between ages of 13 and 15 allegedly broke into Rudd Middle School earlier this week. While auditing the school bus cameras, the staff noticed that three of the buses had been started and driven around the lot by the four suspects on Monday night. The suspects were identified as being students at Rudd and Pinson Valley High School. The students allegedly also broke windows, discharged fire extinguishers and entered the building and stole tablets, mobile phones and a laptop. The stolen items were returned after the suspects' parents were contacted, but police have obtained juvenile petitions formally charging the teens with second-degree burglary, unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, first-degree theft of property, third-degree criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a vehicle.


- Close to a year later, a Jefferson County jury has indicted Savannah Lynn Hopkins, then 19, on attempted murder charges after she allegedly shot and wounded then-23-year-old bartender Zakk Earle at the Upside Plaza in October 2016. The incident occurred when Earle confronted Hopkins' boyfriend, Sebastian Godby, and told him Hopkins was not old enough to drink at the Plaza. Godby allegedly handed Hopkins a gun and jumped Earle. While the two were on the ground, Earle said he was holding down Godby and yelling for someone to call 911 when Hopkins shot Earle. The couple fled the scene and were later arrested by police after they crashed their vehicle and attempted a brief foot chase. Earle suffered damage to his liver and abdomen, but recovered. Hopkins was released on a $30,000 bond and Godby was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and drug possession with intent to distribute. Hopkins' recent indictment stated that the suspect "intended to commit the crime of murder by shooting Earle with a pistol" with a trial date yet to be set. 

Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up September 29th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, September 29, 2017



Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- A road rage incident in Pelham on Monday led to two suspects taken into custody. The genesis of the incident allegedly began around 12:30 a.m. after "some kind of exchange" on I-65. The victim left the interstate via the tank farm exit as the car containing the two suspects followed. The passenger of the pursuing vehicle, 22-year-old Chuncey Earl Wilson - stood through the sunroof and fired two shots at the car of the victim with one bullet ricocheting off the ground and into the car and the other hitting the bumper. The suspects fled the scene, but were caught by authorities after the victim provided a description to police. The search of the vehicle yielded 47 Ecstasy tablets and the handgun. Wilson is in Shelby County Jail with bonds totaling $61,000 for charges of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana. The driver, 22-year-old Marybeth Flack, is in custody with bonds of $32,000 and faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and receiving stolen property.


- A shooting in a Tuscaloosa apartment complex parking lot Tuesday night ended with two 22-year-old males being injured, one shot in the hip and the other in the leg. Police recently released footage of the incident which revealed 30 people in the lot watching an altercation between two individuals. Soon shots began firing and multiple called the authorities. When police arrived, shots were still being fired. As the crowd fled, police found more than 20 bullet casings on the ground. No arrests have been announced, but Capt. Kip Hart with Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit hopes the video will make people aware of the community and police officers face every day.


- Police believe that a weekend crash in Clanton that killed 22-year-old Brett Allen Singelton may have been intentional. Singleton was driven to the hospital after rescue workers and Clanton officers arrived at the scene, but he died soon after arrival. He had been ejected from the vehicle during the crash. After the driver of the other vehicle, 29-year-old Justin Osmond Bolton, was treated for minor injuries and taken into custody by police for questioning. After discovering that Bolton may have allegedly caused the wreck after an argument with Singleton, police upgraded his charges from manslaughter to murder. 





Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up September 21st

J.D. Lloyd - Thursday, September 21, 2017



Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- A Bessemer teen with a half million dollar bond is behind bars after racking up charges from a dozen alleged crimes ranging from animal cruelty to rape. Recent court records reveal that on August 9th, 19-year-old Treveon Deshawn Weaver allegedly entered a couple's home armed and proceeded to steal two cell phones, assault the man, raped and assaulted the woman and knocked two teeth of their dog's mouth. The full of Weaver's charges include three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first -degree kidnapping, and one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary and cruelty to animals. His attorney states that Weaver maintains his innocence with his case soon going to a grand jury for indictment consideration.


- A Hoover residence break-in allowed police to put a "career criminal" back behind bars. Authorities found 34-year-old Bobby Earl Townsend in the backyard of the residence armed with a pistol and carrying a backpack full of suspected stolen goods and burglar's tools. After a brief chase, Townsend was put in the Jefferson County Jail and charged with possession of burglar's tools and felon in possession of a firearm. Townsend's record has had at least 20 criminal charges since 2004. 


- After originally being charged with allegedly leaking information to a blogger, a fired Morgan County Jail warden now faces misdemeanor charges for tampering with government records. The blog in question, the Morgan County Whistleblower, constantly criticized Sheriff Ana Franklin and her office. After serving a warrant to search the house of the suspect, 62-year-old Leon Bradley, Etowah County Sheriff's Office and Franklin's deputies found more than 300 files, including employee, security and inmate documents at the home. A recent court document though suggests that Bradley is now charged not with leaking the documents, but just possessing them. 


If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.


Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up September 12th

J.D. Lloyd - Tuesday, September 12, 2017



Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- A Mobile man accused of burying his mother in a 55-gallon barrel under his front porch recently received bonds totaling a $130,000. The suspect, 32-year-old Nathaniel Sebastian, faces charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, felony probation violation and first-degree promoting prison contraband. The victim, 60-year-old Susan Mayo, had been missing since June. Officers monitoring Sebastian and his family initially thought they were investigating a missing person case until Sebastian told them his mother was buried underneath the front. Though Sebastian gave a "spontaneous confession" at the scene, he eventually entered a not guilty plea when he appeared in front of Mobile District Court Judge Joe Basenburg. During an initial interview, MCSO Captain Paul Burch stated that Sebastian had expressed a fondness for serial killer John Wayne Gacy, whose actions may have inspired the suspect. 


- Authorities believed they may have a third suspect in last week's shooting death of a Birmingham teen. Terrius Hilliard was walking along Ensley with a friend when a white Dodge Charger drove by them and shot Hilliard. Police believed the targeting and shooting of Hilliard had been motivated by a school dispute earlier that day. Police later approached the white Dodge Charger at the Mystic Convenience store, which subsequently drove off and crashed. Two teenage suspects were arrested. According to Mystic Convenience security camera footage, a third possible suspect got out of the car, went into the store and later fled the scene. 


- A pair of adult sisters recently punched and spit on a Jefferson County school bus driver, racking up charges of harassment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. According to the victim, whose name has not yet been released, Angela Davidson and Ashley Johnson came up to him near the end of his route because they were angry that the bus stopped two doors down from one of their houses instead of at their home. One sister spit through the window and punched the side of the driver's head. As they exited the bus, one sister allegedly tried to rip off the crossing arm from the bus. Davidson has been arrested and released on a $1,000 bond. Police are still looking to apprehend Johnson. 

Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up August 31st

J.D. Lloyd - Thursday, August 31, 2017



Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:

- A Helena school cafeteria worker found traces of meth on a child's lunch money, leading to the arrest of the mother by the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force over the past weekend. The child had taken the money from the purse of his mother, 44-year-old Heather Brooke Isaacs of Alabaster. When authorities went to her home, they discovered other evidence of synthetic drug use. Isaacs has been charged with chemical endangerment of a child where a controlled substance was produced, possession of imitation drugs and use/possession of drug paraphernalia. She is in the Shelby County Jail on a $17,000 bond; the child has been taken into custody by the Shelby County Department of Human Resources.


- Instead using the vehicle to deliver children to their usual morning destination, a Kentucky drove a stolen Blount County school bus through Jefferson and Blount Counties around 1 a.m. this past Monday morning, prompting a police car pursuit from exit 110 on I-59 south to the Acton Road exit on I-459 north. During the chase, the suspect hit one state trooper vehicle and attempted to hit several others. After being stopped by police and before being arrested, the suspect, 24-year-old Brandon Peckinpaugh, threw a stolen handgun out one of the bus windows. Saying that he stole the bus because his friends left him, Peckinpaugh is charged with first-degree theft of property, two counts of unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle and two counts of theft of second-degree theft of property (the stolen handguns). Police also plan to get an attempted murder for Peckinpaugh's collision with the state trooper.


A Birmingham man was shot while playing videos games on his front porch this past Monday. Witnesses said they heard an argument between the victim and the suspect followed by 15-20 shots fired into the victim's home and BMW. The gunfire shattered the vehicle's windows and flattened one tire while the victim suffered a non life-threatening shot in the leg. The suspect is believed to live nearby, but Birmingham police have not announced any arrests.




Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up August 25th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, August 25, 2017

Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:


- Two Birmingham teens have recently been charged with capital murder for the June 30th shooting death of a 20-year-old Birmingham father. The death occurred when the two teens (who began the night by stealing a credit card from one of the suspect's grandmother to buy an iPhone) opened fire on several cars including victim Antonio Brooks and crashed into a Birmingham police car, seriously injuring the two officers inside. One of the teens even live-streamed the crash on Facebook. Police eventually caught the suspects, identified as 17-year-old Demarcus Daniels and 16-year-old X'Zavier McWillie, and charged them with attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. The capital murder warrants and charges later came after a ballistics test. Both suspects are now being held with no bond and are awaiting court hearings in November. 


- Papers filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama have accused Arab Electric Cooperative employee John "Jack" Willis of embezzling more than $2.9 million from his employer, who placed him on unpaid leave as of March 6th. According to, "federal prosecutors are seeking a forfeiture of Willis' property for the amount of the alleged embezzlement." He was recently arraigned for the embezzlement charge at a federal courthouse in Huntsville.


- An intoxicated Limestone County man attempted to shoot his mom's boyfriend because he "was walking around the house not wearing pants," according to authorities. Police jailed 32-year-old Christopher Draper on charges of felony second-degree domestic violence and misdemeanor reckless endangerment, When Draper approached the boyfriend, his mother got in front of him, aimed the shotgun at the ceiling and let it discharge. Draper has had several incidents with the boyfriend. His bail has not been set, and he will face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 



Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up August 16th

J.D. Lloyd - Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:


- The Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit recently released surveillance photos of a shooting incident in a local parking deck late last month. Two female suspects had chosen to fight at the top of the deck, and the incident began building a crowd. The fight escalated beyond control as people in the crowd started fighting each other with two people shooting into cars. When authorities searched the scene, they discovered more than 100 bullet shell casings and several bullet holes in various part of the deck. Police are still looking to identify the suspects. 


- Two teens (Arron Raynard Jones, 17, of Birmingham, and Jakobe Isaiah Carter, 18, of Phenix City) are being held on burglary and capital murder charges without bond for allegedly killing a construction worker outside a Madison Publix Store. Police said the two teens had been accused of running away from the Three Springs juvenile facility when they allegedly killed the construction worker. After killing the man with blunt trauma to the head, police believed the teens took the victim's cellphone and wallet, labelling it a crime of opportunity. Authorities later found the suspects hiding in the woods.


- A dispute over Taco Bell tacos caused an Athens man to turn violent. Tyler Tarrell Dukes, 19, has been accused of assaulting his brother with a baseball bat after he was asked to share his food. Limestone County authorities were called to the scene and found the victim bleeding from his head. Dukes has been charged with second-degree assault and could face up to ten years in prison if convicted. 



Alabama Criminal Law Round-Up August 4th

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, August 04, 2017


Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:



- Early Wednesday morning, Jefferson County sheriff's deputies responded to a call about suspicious activity and possible meth use in Mulga. They found the suspect in a van outside an abandoned house. While searching the van, authorities discovered an active methamphetamine manufacturing process in a soda bottle that was warm to the touch. Investigators and HAZMAT personnel from the sheriff's office a Narcotics Unit safely disposed of the "cook" a few hours later. Police charged the suspect, 43-year-old Kenneth Carver, with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, illegal manufacture of a controlled substance, and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in Jefferson County Jail on a $121,000 bond. 


- An argument about who the "big dog" was in a Huntsville neighborhood led to an intense, two-day argument between two neighbors and the eventual chopping death of one of the men at the beginning of June. After entering the house to speak with 63-year-old Robert Bezotte about payment arrangements for $40 he owed, 56-year-old Randal Wayne Beard grabbed an ax and struck Bezotte multiple times, killing him with blunt force trauma. Beard's stepson and a friend alerted the police to the situation. The authorities found Bezotte dead in his bed. Beard had walked out of the house and sat in a chair on the carport when first responders arrived. Police then found Bezotte's prescription drugs in Beard's truck as well as a wallet with a large sum of cash. Prosecutors are trying to charge Beard with capital murder, alleging that Beard had robbed as well as killed Bezotte. Beard is being held in the Madison County Jail without bail as he awaits a possible hearing before a grand jury. 


- A national prostitution sting led Tuscaloosa police to arrest 33 men at the Best Western Hotel on East McFarland Boulevard on July 14th, July 15th, July 21st and July 22nd. Participating in the National Johns Suppression Initiative last month, undercover officers made advertisements on websites such as With the help of Northport police, the investigation by Tuscaloosa authorities yielded 31 men who were charged with soliciting prostitution and two men who were charged with traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. Four firearms were also seized during the four-day bust. 




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