Here are a few of the criminal law stories that occurred around the state of Alabama this past week:
- An investigation by the Anderson Fire Department into a Lauderdale County house fire revealed that the fire had been intentional. The owner of the two-story dwelling, 47-year-old Georgeanna Rickard, has been accused of sending her boyfriend, 51-year-old Kenneth Hudson, to burn down the house while she was away on vacation. The duo eventually stated that they had planned to collect $100,000 from the insurance company for the damage. Hudson is charged with first-degree insurance fraud and first-degree arson; he could face up to life in prison if convicted. Rickard also faces the first-degree insurance fraud charge along with second-degree arson; if convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
- A Hoover man has received his third financial institution robbery charge since the end of January. The first robbery occurred at APCO Employees Credit Union at Chelsea Crossroads on January 30th, the second incident was at Covenant Bank in Leeds on March 21st and the final holdup occurred at the Northport BB&T bank on April 13th.
- In April, grand jury indicted a Shelby County couple on felony charges for keeping their adoptive teen in "forced isolation" for 23 hours a day over the course of several years. When the teen was rescued from the house and later hospitalized, it was revealed that he only weighed 47 pounds. The couple are each being held on a $1 million bond. The husband's attorney has asked several times (including a request this past Monday) for the bond to be reduced to a "reasonable amount" but the judge has either denied the request, or in this most recent, not responded.