According to a recent article from AL.com, Decatur police made a series of arrests Sunday night involving several violent incidents. In one of these cases, a 20-year-old defendant and his 16- and 17-year-old co-defendants were all charged in connection with an alleged murder. The 20-year-old defendant was charged with capital murder, and his three teenage co-defendants were charged with murder.
Authorities say the alleged victim was shot multiple times while he stood under a carport at a friend's house and died as a result of his injuries. In addition to this alleged murder, the defendants were also charged with four counts of felony first-degree robbery, in connection with a robbery alleged to have occurred earlier in the same week.
Police say they are also investigating a separate homicide in which a male victim was shot and killed in a local park. Investigators believe this murder may have been related to the other murder, or at the very least, may involve the same defendants who they recently arrested.
Police said this crime spree involving as few as four suspects and at least two murders is something quite out of the ordinary for the city. In fact, he said he believes the city has never experienced so many incidents of violent crime in such a short amount of time.
As for the specific events during the alleged offenses, authorities say it all started with a series of robberies in a park behind a local elementary school. Victims reported having their wallets, jewelry, money, car keys, and cell phones taken during the robberies. All victims were teens, and none of them were injured during the alleged robberies.
Police say they have learned one of the homicide victims was standing at a carport with a friend, when suspects approached them and demanded they hand over all their valuables, including wallets and cellphones. Police further say victim and his friend were ordered to get on the ground, and victim was shot. Victim's friend was luckily able to get away without being injured in the alleged robbery. These suspects have also been accused of robbing a woman later that night, threatening to kill her in front of her child, and stealing her car. It should be noted, none of the defendants have been convicted of any crimes in connection with this case, and all are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty in a court of law.
Authorities say there will be many more charges filed against these four defendants. As our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys can explain, it is typical for the police to make arrests and prosecutors to file charges before all the facts have been fully investigated. While it is possible the government will add additional charges, it is also possible some charges will be dismissed. It is also possible some of the government's so-called reliable witnesses have lengthy criminal records and are willing to say anything in exchange for favorable treatment with respect to their own legal matters. These are issues you should discuss with your experienced criminal defense attorney during your initial consultation.
3 teens, 1 adult charged with murder, robberies in Decatur crime spree, May 17, 2015, AL.com