Here are a few of the criminal law stories that occurred around the state of Alabama this past week:
- After a Hueytown man stole a struck in his hometown this past Wednesday, he escaped to Birmingham where he managed to hit several other cars after getting off the Arkedelphia Road exit, an incident which also claimed the life of 69-year-old Fred Cornelius Wilson II. The suspect, 24-year-old Cody Allen Abney, faces charges of first-degree theft of property from the Hueytown police and is also expected to face charges from Birmingham police. An Alabama Power employee was also hit by the suspect's truck while sitting in his work vehicle on Bessemer Road, but is expected to be OK after being taken to the hospital. Abney has faced prior conviction in 2015, pleading guilty to second-degree forgery and second-degree theft of property.
- An Adger couple's home was recently invaded by their adopted son and two of his friends. The incident occurred in the early morning hours while the couple was asleep. The masked intruders forced their way through the back entrance of the home, forced the couple to the floor and stole guns, jewelry and prescription medicine. A purchase using one of the victim's credit cards at a Bessemer convenience store allowed police to obtain video surveillance of the suspects. The adopted son, 30-year-old Jamie Lee Meadows, enlisted the help of two friends, 28-year-old Roy Scott Jones and 30-year-old Jamie Christopher Cowherd, to help in the burglary. The stolen items have not been recovered. All three suspects face charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and first-degree theft of property with Jones and Cowherd also facing charges of second-degree assault. Meadows is in the Jefferson County Jail and Cowherd is in the Tuscaloosa Jail on unrelated charges, but will be transferred to Jefferson County upon release. Scott remains at large.
- Three Huntsville men will be put on a trial for a murder that occurred over five years ago. If convicted of the murder charge for the fatal choking death of 36-year-old Marlo Patton, the three suspects (28-year-old Jamie Kelly, 26-year-old Savontae Shoulders and 30-year-old Robert Davis) could face up to life in prison. An original fourth suspect, Timothy Smith, has had the charges against him dismissed. According to testimony, "Patton, who was working as a confidential informant for the Madison-Morgan HIDTA drug task force, was killed when he went to a home on Sparkman Drive to buy drugs from Kelly." When Shoulders (who was also present in the house) heard Kelly arguing with Patton, Shoulders put Patton in a headlock after the victim allegedly punched him. According to Shoulders, Davis killed Patton and the trio (accompanied by Timothy Smith) dumped the body in Tennessee. However, since the victim was dead by the time Smith came along, Smith's charges were dropped. For his part, Shoulders is trying to claim self-defense in the trial.
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