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


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



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.