Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:
- A Lauderdale County man has recently been arrested for the third time on charges of animal cruelty. This time the suspect, David Wilson Coffman Jr., was arrested this past Friday and charged with 16 counts of felony animal cruelty, 16 counts of improperly disposing of an animal carcass and 150 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges after Lauderdale County sheriff's deputies removed nearly 300 malnourished cows from his 12 acres of farmland off of County Road 95 in Rogersville. The sheriff's office reported that nearly all of the animals had been neglected and many were discovered to be near death. The animals that had died were determined to be malnourished. According to deputies, Coffman could face additional charges, but is being held in Lauderdale County Jail with no bail set.
- A task force composed of investigators from the U.S. Secret Service, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Birmingham police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office recently announced the arrests of five Birmingham women accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from area Walmart stores. The women (Ariel Mack, 26, Daricka Mack, 25, Andrea McCracklin, 32, Zipporah Davis, 20, and Denise Gamble, 24) worked together in a "Cash Cash Scam," a scheme that has been replicated throughout various Walmarts across the country and has cost the company significant losses. By befriending the cashier at a store and often saying they were a previous employee, the suspect then tricks the cashier into fraudulently loading pre-paid gift cards. According to police, the suspects "either knows what buttons to push to open the register and will distract the clerk while doing so or will give the cashier a code to put in that will trigger the register opening." The credit card used to load the gift card and open the register is false, but will trigger a real transaction. The five suspects in this particular group hit up stores in both Jefferson and Shelby Counties. They all face felony charges, were released on bonds ranging from $10,000 to $60,000 and will have their first scheduled court appearances this month or next.
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