McAlpine, Accused Chevron shooting defendant in court

McAlpine, Accused Chevron shooting defendant in court

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The two men accused of robbery and shooting three men at a Chevron gas station in July of this year were in court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning. Emanuel McAlpine is charged with three counts of attempted murder and robbery. Ghacquez Ludgood is charged with robbery.

A Mobile Police detective gave testimony in court that three men were shot in the head during the robbery on July 31, 2018. Surveillance video showed a man come in and point a gun at the clerk behind the register. Police have identified that suspect at McAlpine. According to investigators, McAlpine shot the clerk in the eye and went into the back room of the store. Detectives say that’s where McAlpine brought another man up to the register and shot him twice, once in the chest and once in the face. McAlpine is then accused of trying to make a third man open the register. When that victim was unable to open the register, police say McAlpine shot him in the head.

In court testimony Wednesday, police say they got a tip from the public that led them to McAlpine. Investigators say they looked though his Facebook photos and were able to identify McAlpine by a tattoo. Police found McAlpine a few days later, but say he had another tattoo covering up the original, identifying tattoo.

Investigators say when McAlpine was questioned about the July 31 robbery and shooting, he told police he and Ludgood went to the store to confront one of the victims about an alleged rape involving Ludgood’s sister. Prosecutors and police don’t believe that is true.

“There’s absolutely no evidence that would corroborate that In any way,” said Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood. “We heard testimony about communications between the two defendants on Facebook. This was clearly a robbery that turned into a shooting.”

Detectives say McAlpine told them he and Ludgood conspired to commit the robbery. McAlpine told police Ludgood ran before the crime was committed.

“Just because somebody says something does not mean it’s a voluntary confession,” said Chase Dearman who is representing McAlpine. “Before it can be admitted into any trial against somebody’s guilt, it has to be proved that it was voluntary.”

Ludgood allegedly told police he bailed out of the plan before the robbery and that McAlpine acted alone.

The three shooting victims have not positively identified McApline as being the man who shot them. So far, police have been unable to find the gun used in the shooting.

A judge set bond for Emanuel McAlpine at $400,000, but 5% of that must be paid in cash. However, McAlpine will be held without bond while the court considers a motion to revoke bond in another case.

The case involving McAlpine and Ludgood will now be sent to a Mobile County Grand Jury.

Emanuel McAlpine doesn't seek bond Mobile, Alabama Criminal Defense Chase Dearman Law Firm

Suspect in Shooting, McAlpine, Doesn’t Seek Bond

Mobile County Court Courtroom

LAGNIAPPE: Rare conviction does little to console family of texting-while-driving victim

Connie Hamilton was in slow motion.

From the moment she heard the news about her 24-year-old daughter, Randi Hamilton — who had been rushed to the emergency room at University of South Alabama medical center minutes earlier — she didn’t feel like she could move at normal speeds.

“I knew she was really bad … then the emergency room doctor came in and knelt down, took my hand and I knew what he was going to say,” she said. “When that doctor told me that she didn’t make it, it just was slow motion right after that and I don’t remember when I came out of [it].”

Randi was on her way to one of her final classes as a student at the University of South Alabama when she was killed as a result of a collision caused by a Mississippi man who Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said was “fixated” on his phone at the time of the crash.

The former Theodore High School cheerleader was thrown from her truck before her body hit a pine tree and landed in a driveway. Connie Hamilton was later told by witnesses that homeowners in the area formed a prayer circle around her.

“That made me feel a little bit better knowing she didn’t die alone out there,” Hamilton said. “I have a really hard time, even now, believing she’s gone. It’s just hard for me to believe and every day I just trudge on.”

Randi was just three weeks from graduation and along with her aunt had been planning a party in anticipation of the big day. In one of the toughest situations her mother had to take on, those plans had to be scrapped for a funeral.

“I was — I had family around me that helped me, that told me what to do,” she said. “Pretty much they had to tell me what to do.”

Randi’s sister, Samantha, joined their mother in wanting to do one last thing for her. Connie said they wanted to dress her “to a ‘T’” for the funeral, but when it came time for the service at Travis Road Baptist Church, they decided to close the casket.

“We just had to do that,” Hamilton said. “I think back on it now and it’s hard for me to even think about that because of seeing your child in a casket. Nobody should ever have to do that.”

Family life
Connie Hamilton divorced when Randi and Samantha were young, so for much of their life it was just the three of them together in Theodore. As typical siblings growing up, Randi and Samantha didn’t always get along. Connie Hamilton said once both of them moved out on their own, though, they grew closer.

“They had just started getting into that, which was really, really nice to see,” she said. “It’s really satisfying as a parent to see them finally getting along with each other and really enjoying each other’s company.”

The relationship between the three women meant a lot to Samantha as well, as detailed in her impact statement given to Circuit Judge Robert Smith at the sentencing hearing of the Mississippi man convicted of manslaughter for the crash that killed her sister last week in Mobile.

“My heart breaks due to this tragedy,” Samantha said. “For the rest of my life, we will both cry for Randi. We will cry together and we will cry separately.”

In the statement, Samantha described long, “unbearable” nights and how she has cried in bed for two years thinking of her lost sister.

Plans for the future
Like most college seniors, Randi was looking forward to graduation and had been starting to research future employment leads as a biomedical major with a marketing minor. As a vet tech for much of her early working life, Randi was hopeful she would secure a job as a pet pharmaceutical sales representative. She had found a job opening with a new company in Daphne and had filled out an application before the wreck.

“That application was found on her bedside table,” Connie Hamilton said. “She was intending on faxing it that week.”

An alumnus of USA herself, Hamilton said she knew how it felt to have a degree in her hands and wanted Randi to graduate.

“Just to have that diploma in your hand and know this is something you achieved yourself,” she said. “I really wanted her to feel that and she never did. She never got the chance.”

Randi was always the type of person looking for the next adventure, her mother said. It didn’t have to be all that exciting; in fact, it could simply be the next holiday on the calendar, but Randi was always in the mood to plan for it. She was planning for bigger life events following graduation as well.

“She was looking forward to starting a family,” Hamilton said. “She and her boyfriend had plans of getting married.”

In her impact statement, Samantha also mentioned her sadness over never being able to become a maid of honor for Randi, nor Randi returning the favor “when I make the step to become a wife.”

First-of-its-kind conviction
The driver of the truck that hit Randi’s vehicle, Jonathan Mikael Raynes, was later charged with and convicted of manslaughter as a result of the wreck — a conviction Rich called a first-of-its-type case in the state.

Raynes was sentenced on April 6 by Judge Smith to 10 years split with two years to serve in prison and two years’ probation. The other eight years were suspended, meaning if Raynes violates the terms of his probation he could serve more time.

During the hearing, Rich asked for a 10-year sentence split to serve five years, arguing Raynes had a number of recent traffic citations and had been involved in a wreck in Louisiana before the Mobile case went to trial.

Raynes’ attorney, Chase Dearman, did not return a phone call to his office this week requesting comment for this story. The case is being appealed and while the appeal process takes place, Raynes is out on a $60,000 bond.

While Rich told Smith the eyes of the community were on him as he sent a message with the sentence, Dearman argued his client’s actions merited only probation and no jail time.

“Jonathan was in a car accident … and the jury found him guilty of looking at his cell phone,” Dearman said. “I’m guilty of that…. There is absolutely no reason why probation or front-end diversion type of sentence won’t work.”

Dearman also told the judge that his client, who doesn’t speak well in public, was sorry for what happened to Randi. Several witnesses spoke on Raynes’ behalf during the hearing, including his father, a neighbor and the preacher at his church near Purvis, Mississippi.

After Smith ruled, Hamilton said she hadn’t thought much about the sentence.

“I’ve never been focused on the sentence for him,” she said. “I wanted the felony conviction that would stay with him the rest of his life because this will stay with me the rest of my life.”

While Rich said she believes this is the first conviction in the state for the relatively new texting law, it doesn’t mean district attorneys will seek the same charges under similar circumstances.

“This was an extremely egregious case,” Rich told a gaggle of reporters following the sentencing. “He uploaded pictures of himself to the phone while driving … and toggled on social media between women he wanted to meet.”

She added her office would be willing to help teach other prosecutors in the state how to successfully bring and win similar cases in the future.

A growing trend
During the hearing, Dearman brought up how common it is to see drivers texting while traveling various thoroughfares around Mobile. Rich also made mention of how common it has become, in asking Smith to make an example of Raynes. For her part, Connie Hamilton said she hopes Randi’s death can serve as a reminder to area drivers to stay off phones while driving.

“Seriously, it’s not worth it,” she said. “It’s not — nobody should have to bury their child and it’s just not worth it. You know it doesn’t matter what the phone call is, or what you’re doing with your phone. Wait until you’re not behind the wheel to do it.”

With the proliferation of smartphones and the sheer number of vehicles on the road, Hamilton said she doesn’t believe the problem will go away.

“You see young people these days and they’re so attached to their phones,” she said. “I don’t see that getting any better. I don’t see people shying away from their phone.”

In 2015 Alabama State Troopers wrote 682 citations for texting while driving, trooper spokesman Cpl. Jess Thornton said. Since the law was enacted in August 2012, more than 1,400 tickets have been written.

The law can be tricky to enforce, though, Thornton said, because it’s not illegal for a driver to be on his or her phone; the driver has to be texting.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article misidentified the judge presiding over the manslaughter case.

Via: Lagniappe written by Dale Liesch.

Mobile County Courthouse

Defense Begins For Turtle Creek Apartments Murder Suspect

MOBILE, AL (WALA) – 20-year-old Terri Grant and 19-year-old Jordan Johnson were back in court Wednesday morning for an arraignment hearing.

Grant and Johnson are accused of killing 31-year-old Kahled Al Mashni Saturday, March 26 at the Turtle Creek Apartment Complex.

Tuesday a judge set bail at $250,000 dollars each. Grant pleaded not guilty. Johnson said his family is still working on getting an attorney.

The state asked for $200,000. Wednesday the judge added a $25,000 cash component after the state said it had a photo of Johnson holding firearms and thousands of dollars in cash.

Chase Dearman, attorney for Grant argued that she was not a flight risk, nor a danger to the community. He said Grant grew up in Mobile County and was medically discharged from the National Guard.

The courtroom was tense Wednesday morning. Family of the victim muttered things under their breath as Dearman spoke for his client.

Tuesday, a brother of the Mashni said they’re asking for justice.

A preliminary hearing will be held April 15.

Content via: Fox10 Video via: Local15

Chase Dearman is a Mobile Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

CONTACT CHASE DEARMAN AT THE DEARMAN LAW FIRM
(251) 445-6997

Mobile County Court Courtroom

Dearman Defends Second Day In Texting And Driving Manslaughter Trial

Testimony continued today in the trial against 23-year-old Jonathan Raynes. Raynes is charged with one count of manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old USA Student Miranda Hamilton. The prosecution says that Raynes was using social media and dating applications while driving. They say his negligence on the road caused this fatal accident.

The accident happened on April 14th, 2014 in front of the Learning Tree on Lott Road. Raynes hit Miranda Hamilton’s green F150 head-on with his white Dodge truck. Hamilton was ejected from her vehicle and later died.

The prosecution called on six witnesses to testify about what occurred before, during and after the fatal crash.

The first witness to take the stand was Charlie Winsted. Winsted and his wife Michelle both worked at the Learning Tree and were heading to work the day of the accident. Winsted testified that his wife stopped their black Honda Accord on Lott Road while waiting to make a left turn into the Learning Tree’s driveway. He says that he saw Rayne’s Dodge pick-up approaching their car from behind at a very fast speed before seeing him clip the back of their car before swerving into the other lane and hitting Hamilton head on.

Mobile County Court CourtroomAnother witness on the road at the time, Clayton Wiley said he was driving behind Raynes and witnessed the fatal accident.

Both drivers said they believe Raynes was speeding at the time of the accident.

Miranda Hamilton’s boyfriend at the time of the accident, Christopher Lowry also took the stand. He testified that he arrived on the scene after Hamilton had already been transported to USA Medical Center. He says that he walked to her flipped truck and took her purse and her phone. He says that he has those still today because it’s all he has left to hold onto.

Via: WKRG

 

Chase Dearman is a Mobile Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

CONTACT CHASE DEARMAN AT THE DEARMAN LAW FIRM
(251) 445-6997

Fairhope Man Acquitted of Capital Murder; Dearman Continues Legal Defense

Fairhope resident Bruce Keishawn Salter, 26, was acquitted of capital murder charges Feb. 3 after spending 954 days in jail awaiting trial for his connection to the 2013 murder of another Fairhope man, Donald Howard.

After a seven-day jury trial at the beginning of this year, a Baldwin County jury returned a unanimous not-guilty verdict in Salter’s case, which included charges of murder during a robbery, murder by a deadly weapon and tampering with physical evidence. Salter was originally arrested on Oct. 8, 2013, and indicted on six counts, including capital murder and tampering with evidence.

Howard died Jan. 14, 2013, after being shot multiple times and robbed of money, a cell phone, a pocket knife and a red bandana.

Last year attorney Chase Dearman filed a federal complaint against Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon seeking injunctive relief against the capital murder charges Salter faced, arguing Dixon did not honor a proffer agreement with Salter for his cooperation in building a murder case against Immanuel Charles Jenkins, who was later found guilty of Howard’s murder.

The complaint, which is pending in federal court, says the agreement was breached on June 24, 2013, when Salter was arrested and charged with capital murder. The District Attorney’s office believes Salter did not tell the whole truth during the investigation.

Salter was alleged to have driven Howard to the 7700 block of Parker Road, where Howard was killed.

Dearman said Salter and Howard were riding to a different location when Jenkins called and told them to come to the home on Parker Road. Dearman said they pulled the car up beside a vehicle parked in front of the location, and Salter jumped out to urinate. According to Dearman, while Salter was out of the car, Jenkins shot Howard five to six times. Dearman said Salter did not see the killing but did see Howard slumped over in the car.

Dearman said Jenkins pointed a gun at Salter, telling him to get Howard out of the car, at which time they took the man’s body to the back of the residence. When the pair noticed Howard was still alive, Dearman said Jenkins fired a final shot to the back of his head. Salter took a red bandana and $24 out of Howard’s pocket and Jenkins took a phone and pocket knife.

Shortly after the killing, Salter contacted Dearman to tell the story, and they relayed the information to the Baldwin County District Attorney’s office. Investigators used information provided by Salter to arrest and charge Jenkins in the case. Dearman said had Salter not come forward, investigators would not have known a crime occurred.

Dearman said throughout the life of Dixon’s proffer agreement with Salter, his client was truthful and helpful to investigators. However, Dearman acknowledged that in Salter’s initial interview, he did not tell the investigators about the $24 he took from Howard’s pocket and the final shot to Howard’s head.

In trial, prosecutors argued Salter knowingly set up Howard, then lied to investigators about his involvement. Salter’s attorneys said their client’s story never changed and evidence proved his innocence. They also questioned why prosecutors sought a capital murder charge when evidence showed the defendant didn’t fire a shot.

“Legally, aiding and abetting allows for a broad reach, but in a capital murder charge it is statutorily limited to the actual killing itself,” attorney Grant Gibson said. “To charge someone with capital murder, under the theory he aided and abetted when the evidence did not show that, was a strange tactical decision.”

Following his release from jail, the District Attorney’s office hit Salter with another three-count indictment for an unrelated incident. According to the new indictment, Salter faces charges of attempted murder, discharging a firearm into a vehicle and reckless endangerment. Court records show Salter now awaits a bond hearing for those charges later this month.

Jenkins was found guilty of murder Oct. 2, 2015, and sentenced to life in prison in the Bibb County Correctional Facility.

The Baldwin County District Attorney’s office did not return calls requesting comment before press time.

Original article: Lagniappe Mobile

Chase Dearman is a Mobile Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

CONTACT CHASE DEARMAN AT THE DEARMAN LAW FIRM
(251) 445-6997

Mobile County Courthouse

Dearman Defends Alleged Texting And Driving Manslaughter Case

The Dearman Law Firm is currently defending an accused man on charges of Manslaughter related to texting and driving in Mobile County Court in Mobile, Alabama. This case is developing and details will emerge as they are available.

Chase Dearman is a Mobile Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

CONTACT CHASE DEARMAN AT THE DEARMAN LAW FIRM
(251) 445-6997

Baldwin County Courthouse, Bay Minette, Alabama

Dearman Wins Capital Murder Jury Trial in Baldwin County

Baldwin County Courthouse, Bay Minette, Alabama

Baldwin County Courthouse, Bay Minette, Alabama

After a seven day jury trial at the beginning of 2016, a Baldwin County Jury returned a unanimous verdict of “Not Guilty” to all counts in the indictment in the case of State of Alabama v. Bruce Salter, CC-2013-1961. Dearman’s client was charged with Capital Murder while committing Robbery in the First Degree; Capital Murder and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle and Tampering with Evidence.

Chase Dearman is a Mobile Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

CONTACT CHASE DEARMAN AT THE DEARMAN LAW FIRM
(251) 445-6997