CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo Because There’s Hope After the Trial


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 Appeal Releases from March 17, 2017

J.D. Lloyd - Monday, March 27, 2017


Keith v. State (CR-15-1319)

Keith pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance and first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana after police found drugs under the front seat of his car during an inventory search. Officers pulled Keith over when they ran his license plate and realized the tag didn’t match his car. When they ran Keith’s ID, they discovered he had outstanding warrants and placed him under arrest. His car was searched as an inventory search and the drugs were found inside. Keith moved to suppress on the grounds that the search was improper warrantless search.

REVERSED. The Court concluded that the State failed to show that inventory search was carried out “according to standard criteria and on the basis of something other than suspicion of criminal activity.” The Court focused on Ex parte Boyd, 542 So. 2d 1276 (Ala. 1989), where the Alabama Supreme Court concluded that an inventory search was not valid because there was no evidence that law enforcement carried out the search pursuant to policy. Here, the Court found the same deficiencies that the Boyd court found: conclusory statements regarding following inventory policy, a lack of an inventory list, no copy of the policy was presented, and no evidence the officer followed that policy. Judge Joiner wrote a lengthy dissent.


Thoughts: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Alabama Supreme Court take this issue up and ask for clarification for inventory searches andBoyd’s lasting effect. To me, inventory search precedent focuses on whether officers can show a search really was an administrative search and not a fishing expedition.


Sheffield v. State (CR-15-1467)

Sheffield was convicted of murder. He argued that he shot the victim in self-defense or by accident. At trial, the State introduced a recording of a heated phone conversation between the defendant and his wife, which was pretty damning to the defense -- she basically said he murdered the victim and didn’t act in self defense. Sheffield tried to invoke martial privilege to exclude the conversation, but the court allowed its introduction via Rule 804(b)(3) -- statements against interest. The State’s theory was that it was against the spouse’s interest for Sheffield to get convicted of murder.

REVERSED. The Court acknowledged that this was a question of first impression -- whether a declarant’s statements made against her spouse’s penal interest may also be considered against her own pecuniary or proprietary interest. In looking at Oregon case law, the Court concluded that the test as to whether a statement fits within the purview of Rule 804(b)(3) comes down to two central questions: (1) Was the declarant’s primary motive in making the statement to hurt or help her own interest; and (2) Was the risk to the declarant-spouse so great that the statements are inherently reliable? Here, the Court concluded the statements were not against Sheffield’s spouse’s interest (she wanted to divorce him), so they should not have been admitted under Rule 804(b)(3). Moreover, the Court concluded that this error wasn’t harmless given slight evidence presented surrounding the fatal moments.


Smith v. State (CR13-0055)

Smith was convicted of two counts of capital murder for a brutal kidnapping-murder/robbery-murder he carried out. At sentencing, the victim’s mother and sister testified that they believed the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for Smith. Smith argued on appeal that this testimony was improper.

CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED. The Court concluded the victim’s family’s recommendations were improper victim impact statements regarding recommended sentences under Booth v. Maryland. The Court found these statements to be plain error and vacated the death sentence.

Thoughts: I’m not going to be surprised if this gets reversed by the AL SC saying that this error didn’t rise to the level of plain error. I could see the AL SC using Judge Windom’s dissent as a blue print for re-imposing Smith’s death sentence.


Legendre v. State (CR-16-0008)

Legendre was on probation and his PO filed a delinquency report alleging that he failed to report, left the state without permission, didn’t pay supervision fees, failed to pay court-ordered moneys, failed to report to CRO and failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse program. At the hearing, the PO testified to trying to contact Legendre and how Legendre had missed meetings with her. In revoking, the court concluded that Legendre’s failure to report rose to the level of “absconding,” which allowed the court to fully revoke his probation. Legendre appealed claiming that he had not absconded.

AFFIRMED. The Court concluded that between his failure to report and his failure to communicate with the PO once she had contacted, the State presented sufficient evidence to prove that Legendre absconded and could be fully revoke.


Banville v. State (CR-15-1384)

The preclusive bar of Rule 32.2(d) does not bar a second Rule 32 petition if the first Rule 32 petition was based only upon Rule 32.1(f) -- a request to file an out-of-time appeal.


Campbell v. State (CR-15-1187)

Stoves v. State (CR-14-1687)

Both of these cases involved a reversal of one conviction on Double Jeopardy grounds (i.e., duplicate offenses), but an affirming of the remaining counts. Both are fact-intensive and not particularly noteworthy.



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


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



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.