Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:
- Four teenagers held a mother of two at gunpoint while they stole videos games from her Hartselle home. The armed male suspect forced the mother to the ground and the other two suspects took the games as well as a gaming system. Snapping a picture of the getaway vehicle – which also was driven by a fourth suspect – and two of the suspects, she called authorities who conducted an unsuccessful search of the area. However, a few days later, the victim and her friend saw the vehicle in a trailer park. Police came and arrested the driver, 19-year-old Jared Austin Cooper, who is being held on a $30,000 bond. Police also arrested 16-year-old Lauren Casey Stafford and are on the lookout for 17-year-old Brandon Michael Price. Stafford and Price will be tried as adults, and all three suspects are charged with first-degree burglary. The fourth suspect is being charged as a juvenile.
- An argument over cutting the grass and a property dispute led to the death of an Autauga County man on July 15th. Neighbors reported hearing a verbal altercation between 59-year-old John Brown and 73-year-old Joseph Huffman over Brown’s mowing the lawn in a certain five-acre parcel of the 40-acre Pink Lilly Community. During the argument, Huffman fatally shot Brown once with a shotgun. Huffman is currently out on a $30,000 bond.
- Coosa County sheriff’s deputies and a group Alabama Law Enforcement Agency narcotics officers recently conducted a raid that led to the arrest of two men and the confiscation of more than $310,000 of marijuana. After showing the warrant to resident and convicted felon Randolph Pearce, police entered the home and soon discovered an elaborate hydroponic marijuana grow operation complete with grow lights, timers, irrigation, fertilization and more. There were about 30 plants in the property’s outbuilding as well as another 32 in a plant-cloning apparatus. Pearce received charges of first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance, first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; he is at Coosa County Jail on a $30,000 bond. An accomplice, 46-year-old Anthony Wayne Grogan, attempted to flee the scene during the raid. A separate search of his residence turned up weapons and illegal drugs. Grogan was charged with possession of a controlled substance, certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree possession of marijuana and first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance.
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