Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:
- The mother of a 16-year-old Birmingham murder suspect says she does not plan to make any excuses for her son’s behavior. This past Thursday, Jordan Johnson was charged with the shooting death of his friend, 14-year-old high school freshman, Reynold “Ray Ray” Bonner III. Johnson’s mother states that she had tried to raise her son in a safe, but strict household, but he had left two years earlier. According to Birmingham police, the two friends were attempting to rob a man outside of a convenience two days before Christmas when that man pulled out a gun and shot Bonner. Under the federal murder statute, Johnson can be criminally charged if they are “participating in a felony crime that results in death, whether or not that person actually pulled the trigger.” Both families are also looking for the man who drove the teens to the robbery site to be prosecuted as well.
- Another shooting involving Birmingham best friends occurred just a few days ago. In the early hours of Monday morning, 28-year-old Eric Cotton, a female friend and another male (a 24-year-old suspect whose name is being withheld at this time) were hanging out and drinking inside a home in the 3500 block of 42nd Avenue North. According to police, the suspect began acting erratic and bizarre, pulled out two guns and just started firing and fatally hit Cotton in the back while the female friend fled out of the house and hid in some bushes. The suspect went looking for the woman and ended up breaking into a neighboring home with two children and their grandparents. The suspect continued firing, but there were no further injuries. Officers were dispatched the scene and soon took the suspect into custody as he tried to escape out of a back window. According to the police, Cotton and the suspect were best friends. Narcotics are suspected to have been consumed prior to the incident, but there is currently no clear motivation.
- A major federal drug and money-laundering probe in southeast Alabama took 21 suspects into custody this past Friday. Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. said the long-term federal investigation led to the seizure of heroin and multiple kilograms of meth along with numerous guns and a vehicle that was outfitted with a device to conceal narcotics. Five individuals face federal charges following two federal grand jury indictments charging them with a variety of drug trafficking crimes including conspiracy, distribution, and possession of meth and heroin. The other sixteen were arrested on state charges of criminal conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime.
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