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

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

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.