CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo

AfterTheTrial.com... Because There’s Hope After the Trial

BLOG

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.

Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions - April 2018

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, April 27, 2018

 Pruitt v. State 16-0956

 

 

Pruitt pleaded guilty to two counts of committing a sex act with a student, violations of § 13A-6-81, and two counts of distributing obscene material to a minor, violations of § 13A-12-200.5. These offenses involved 3 students Pruitt formerly taught. Pruitt was a teacher in the Blount County School system. She taught at the Locust Fork High School during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. She taught the three students during this time. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, Pruitt was transferred to Appalachian High School. During October 2014, she sent Student #1 nude Snapchat pictures, had deviate sexual intercourse with Student #2, and had sexual intercourse with Student #3. For all intents and purposes, the acts were consensual. These facts were stipulated by both sides. Prior to pleading guilty, Pruitt, relying on Lawrence v. Texas, argued that the statutes and charges were unconstitutional as applied to her. AFFIRMED The Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the Lawrence-based argument on the grounds that Lawrence explicitly held that the decision didn’t apply to conduct involving minors. Further, the Court concluded that the State has a legitimate state interest in “prohibiting intimate contact between a teacher and a student.” The Court likewise rejected Pruitt’s “consent” defense since the statute expressly says “consent is not a defense.” Finally, the Court held that the fact that Pruitt did not teach at the same school as the students did not entitle her to relief. The Court also rejected an argument that her violation for unlawful distribution of obscene material to a minor didn’t violate her right to Equal Protection to be free from State intervention in a private relationship with a consulting person. The Court ruled against this argument based on the student being a minor (per § 13A-12-200.1) and previous holdings that the State doesn’t violate Equal Protection concerns by prohibiting sexual contact with minors.
 
Towles v. State CR-15-0699
Towles was convicted of capital murder pursuant to §13A-5-40(a)(15) for killing his girlfriend’s son by hitting him on the buttocks with a piece of lumber. This appealed stemmed from a re-trial after the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed his capital murder conviction and death sentence years back. In the interim, Towles’ girlfriend pleaded guilty for failing to protect her son from Towles. The girlfriend didn’t testify at trial. Towles’ defense was that she caused the death and then blackmailed him to help her cover up the child’s death. However, the State impeached Towles by discussing how she had pleaded guilty for failing to protect her son from Towles. REVERSED The Court concluded that the introduction of the girlfriend’s conviction into evidence was improper evidence of Towles’ guilt. The Court also concluded that the trial court’s instruction that “knowledge of the probability of death or great bodily harm is sufficient to constitute murder” impermissibly lessened the State’s burden and undermined the defense’s argument that the killing was, at most, unintentional. Mr. Towles will now go back for his third trial.

 

Betton v. State CR-15-1501
Betton was a juvenile capital defendant seeking re-sentencing under Miller v. Alabama. Here, the circuit court re-sentenced him to LWOP without considering the factors the Alabama Supreme Court announced in Ex parte Henderson. REMANDED The Court held that remand was necessary for the circuit court to enter specific findings under Ex parte Henderson.
 
Battles v. State CR-17-0044
In a prosecution for unlawful possession of a pistol by a forbidden person pursuant to § 13A-11-72(a), Battles waived counsel and represented himself at trial. However, throughout, Battles complained that he didn’t understand the charges against him and complained that he didn’t have the resources necessary to defend his case. REVERSED The Court concluded that while Battles knowingly waived his right to represent himself at trial, the circuit court failed to the factors a court must discuss with a defendant pursuant to Fitzpatrick v. Wainwright, 800 F. 2d 1057 (11th Cir. 1986) and Tomlin v. State, 601 So. 2d 124 (Ala. 1991). Additionally, the court failed to tell Battles he could withdraw the waiver at any time.

 

 

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.


 

 


Recent Posts


Tags

court systems, OJ Simpson Made in America New York Times albertville alabama debit card skimming scams dora alabama tuscaloosa alabama Kareem Dacar Gaymon brendan dassey baltimore city circuit court court of criminal appeals Glaze v State SCOTUS, mountain brook alabama Wesley Adam Whitworth Fentanyl state of arizona habeas corpus relief midazolam birchfield v north dakota terell corey mcmullin murder kidnapping steve avery heflin alabama birmingham alabama breaking and entering utah supreme court criminal mischief morris alabama 2016 election, huntsville alabama concealed carry edwards v arizona texas identity theft sentencing law and policy blog summaries executions forced isolation shooting hoax destructive devices abuse Woods v State lauderdale county alabama john earle redfearn IV v state car accident aiding and abetting oneonta alabama foley alabama mcwilliams v dunn ake v oklahoma home repair fraud abduction st clair county alabama ferguson missouri Etowah County Alabama, levins v state nathan woods banville v state Adamsville alabama Thomas Hardiman making a murderer keith v state illegal gun carry asia mcclain springville alabama russell calhoun adnan syed, public assistance fraud benjamin todd acton south carolina animal cruelty 28 U.S.C. § 2254 dekalb county alabama OJ Simpson gun control the mannequin challenge Eutaw Alabama Donald Trump, pinson alabama moving violations burglary hurst mandamus pelham alabama Jefferson County Alabama judicial override peyton pruitt trussville alabama department of justice tarrant alabama Samuel Alito towles v state cullman alabama capital murder mount olive alabama blountsville alabama drug seizure economic growth drug crimes constitutional violations fultondale alabama bessemer alabama alabama supreme court fake kidnapping, theft domestic abuse pruitt v state scotus Walker County Alabama alabama law enforcement agency constitutional law, death penalty, brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix eleventh circuit ruling domestic violence sarah koenig drug activity Lucky D Arcade boaz alabama embezzlement stanley brent chapman eugene lee jones v state road rage § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing stoves v state drug smuggling Briarwood Presbyterian Church nicholas hawkins capital punishment bomb threat mike gilotti Malone v State utah v strieff anniston alabama, shelby county gadsden alabama abandonment prostitution sting unlawful manufacturing Sardis Alabama hanceville alabama Rule 32 christmas shooting alfonso morris street racing alabama criminal law roundup fraudulent checks sixth amendment baldwin county alabama dothan alabama maryland court of special appeals drug trafficking, hoover alabama Stephen Breyer drug busts legende v state theft of property mobile alabama Justice Sotomayor smith v state serial Alonzo Ephraim mulga alabama underage drinking Mike Hubbard talladega superspeedway huntsville William Pryor implied consent lamar county rainbow city alabama hurst v florida operation bullseye narcotics investigation fourth amendment sheffield v state Gardendale Alabama florence alabama mccalla alabama moore v texas madison alabama operation crackdown Joshua Reese Guy Terrell Junior jerry bohannon department of justice, shoplifting Xavier Beasley Benn v State hall v florida Tracie Todd second amendment kenneth eugene billups criminal justice reform, brady v maryland brookside alabama Alabaster alabama Pleasant Grove Alabama LWOP limestone county alabama gun rights illegal gambling state of alabama attempted murder § 13A-3-23 negligent homicide bailey v us editorial social media debtor prison Neil Gorsuch Ingmire v State alabama strickland v washington cherokee county alabama blount county alabama montgomery alabama brian fredick lucas capital offenses warrior alabama avondale alabama fraud clarence thomas death penalty campbell v state marion county apprendi v new jersey lethal injection drugs npr armed robbery fairfield alabama, ring v arizona lethal injection Shonda Walker, sexual assault felony assaults adger alabama minor offenses fort payne alabama arson drug possession, endangerment of a child eighth amendment, christian guitierez court of criminal appeal releases CCA update self defense US Supreme Court Update morgan county alabama eric sterling heritage christian university crime of passion Marengo County Alabama homicide betton v state ex parte briseno battles v state netflix decatur alabama calhoun county alabama assault Kay Ivey Easter pell city alabama warrantless blood draws parole greene county alabama robberies aziz sayyed Dylann Roof bernard v north dakota beylund v north dakota shooting death criminal justice kimberly alabama West Alabama Hillary Clinton, church robberies homicide rate Tommy Arthur

Archive

DISCLAIMER

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |

 

As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.