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.