Birmingham Legal Blog

Wanted Texas Sex Offender Arrested in Muscle Shoals

Jason Keith Richardson, a convicted sex offender in Midland, was arrested by United States Marshals in Colbert County last Monday afternoon.  Authorities say that Richardson was staying with a relative and hard possession of a .45 caliber handgun and a large amount of ammunition when he was taken into custody.  Richardson was convicted in Collin County, Texas, for aggravated sexual assault in 1987.  He was sentenced to 70 years in prison but was paroled in June of 2012.

Richardson was set to go to trial earlier this month in Midland for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. He violated his parole by cutting off an ankle tracking device and failing to appear for his scheduled court date. The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force was asked to assist in his apprehension and Richardson was arrested in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, after a brief investigation was conducted.

Texas authorities say Richardson will be prosecuted in the Northern District of Alabama Federal Court for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.  These charges carry the following punishments in Alabama:

  • The unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment
  • Failing to register as a sex offender is a Class C Felony which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines less than $15,000

Richardson, 52,  will then be taken back to Texas to face charges there.

If you or someone you know is facing gun charges, or has been accused of a sex crime, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal attorney to handle your case.  The attorneys of Parkman & White, LLC are experienced in a variety of legal matters and have a history of success in the courtroom. Call to schedule a free consultation today.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

Birmingham Woman Charged in Beauty Shop Murder

Bianca Holman, 25, has been charged with capital murder and robbery after police say she killed Chaya Anders on April 5th at a local beauty shop. Detectives have arrested Holman and she is currently being held without bond in the Jefferson County Jail for the capital murder warrant.  She has also been charged with robbery in the case, which carries a $150,000 bond.

Anders, 63, of Pinson, was found dead inside Ebony Beauty Supply in the 2900 block of 27th Street North around 10:40 a.m. on Saturday.  Members of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service identified a gunshot wound to the victim and police believe she may have been killed the following evening during a robbery. Holman became a suspect in this case after witnesses reported someone matching her description was at the scene of the homicide.  She is also connected to a robbery that took place on Friday night at Jack’s Food Store on 29th Avenue North.

“This was an extremely heinous crime where there was no regard for the victim or this community. I appreciate the Detectives and the various enforcement units for their investigative intensity in this case. This was a casebook investigation where we went from absolutely nothing to an identified suspect in a matter of hours. Our criminal homicides have decreased significantly so far this year but we realize a single homicide is one too many for the affected family.  We can’t prevent every homicide but we have solved every case so far this year. The bottom line is if you commit a homicide in this city, we will never stop looking for you,” said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper.

Anders is the ninth homicide victim in Birmingham thus far in 2014.

In the state of Alabama, capital murder charges often carry the death penalty or life in prison without parole.  If you or someone you know has been charged with murder, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal attorney to handle your case.  The attorneys of Parkman & White, LLC are experienced in a variety of legal matters and have a history of success in the courtroom. Call to schedule a free consultation today.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

Birmingham Man Charged with Murder in April 2nd Shooting

Tavares Cortez Taylor, 27, has been charged with murder in connection to a deadly shooting took place earlier this week in the Norwood Bottoms community.  The warrant was announced by police on Thursday against Taylor who is now being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $200,000 bond.

Police were called to the scene on Tuesday after gunshots were heard around 2:00 p.m. in the 1700 block of 32nd Place North.  Officers arrived to find a 27-year-old man lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was rushed to UAB hospital where he was pronounced dead later that afternoon.  The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the man on Wednesday as James Butler Redmon.

Detectives believe the shooting resulted from a domestic dispute between the two men and that it also involved other family members.

Court records show that Taylor is awaiting trial on 2013 charges of criminal mischief, resisting arrest, obstructing government operations, and disorderly conduct.  He was also arrested in 2012 on a first-degree robbery charge but the case was eventually dismissed.

Redmon was Birmingham’s eight homicide victim this year.  Three of those slayings have been ruled justifiable.

The punishment for murder typically carries a lengthy prison sentence and often includes stipulations of no parole, or that a majority of the sentence must be served before parole is considered.  If you or someone you know has been charged with murder, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal attorney to handle your case.  The attorneys of Parkman & White, LLC are experienced in a variety of legal matters and have a history of success in the courtroom. Call to schedule a free consultation today.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

United States Marshalls Arrest Fugitive in Birmingham

A suspect accused with trying to assault a United States Marshal was arrested on Friday after a brief foot chase in the 1600 block of 26th Avenue North.  William Harris, who was wanted for the attempted assault of a police officer and abetting in the commission of a felony, was taken into custody along with two other individuals at the scene.  Lorenzo Carter, 21, was arrested after officers found a .357 Ruger and illegal drugs.  Trinell King was arrested on warrants out of Birmingham.  According to the release, federal officers made the arrests after viewing Harris and the other suspects flee from a home that was under surveillance.

The events started last Thursday around 8:00 a.m. when federal law men attempted to serve warrant on a man in east Birmingham who had 30 outstanding warrants.  The suspect fled in a car, which was stolen from Trussville, and collided with another driver near a golf course in Roebuck.  The suspect and the other driver were taken to a local hospital.  A second suspect was taken into custody sometime early Thursday morning.

Police tried to arrest Harris around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday when he and accomplice, Dewayne Deon Thomas, tried to hit a deputy marshal with a stolen 2011 blue Hyundai Sonata. Police fired one shot in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

Thomas, 20, is wanted for numerous vehicle burglaries in Jefferson and Shelby County in which weapons and other items of value were taken.  He remains at large and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (205)-254-7777.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

House Bill Would Allow for Seizure of Items Bought with Stolen Money

Currently a loophole in Alabama state legislation prevents law enforcement agents from taking back certain items that have been purchased through identity theft or stolen credit cards.  However, Republican Allen Treadaway is sponsoring House Bill 75 that would allow police departments to seize such items in the future.

The Gardendale Police Department helped play a key role in the creation of this bill when their police detective, Chris Clark, was the first to point out the problem to Treadaway.  Clark then contacted a district attorney in north Alabama who assisted in the writing of the potential legislation.  A similar bill, Senate Bill 332, has recently gotten out of committee and passed by the Senate.  It will now be looked at by the state House of Representatives.

“If it wasn’t for his push, I don’t think we’d be where we are with it right now, with a Senate and House version,” Treadaway said. “It just made good sense. Why would we want any criminal to obtain ill-gotten gains from his criminal activity? We need to close the loophole and seize these items.”

Detective Clark noted that criminals have crossed state lines in the past to commit these types of crimes in Alabama so they could potentially keep their stolen goods if they were caught.  That, coupled with the Alabama prison system being overcrowded, means many convicted criminals get probation rather than going to prison.

“You might get caught after two or three years, but it’s the cost of doing business,” Clark said. “You get probation, and then you get to keep what you stole. This law will hopefully help offset that. It will be another tool for law enforcement to battle it.”

Posted in Criminal Defense |

New DUI Legislation Cleared by the Alabama State Senate

According to the most recent data provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation, there were 899 traffic fatalities in the state during 2011.  Drivers who were impaired by alcohol accounted for 220 of those fatalities and there were also nearly 7,000 separate incidents of driving under the influence reported. Numbers like these typically result in Alabama ranking higher in traffic fatality rates than other states.

In 2011 the state of Alabama first enacted an ignition interlock law that required convicted first-time and repeat offenders, with a blood alcohol level of .15 or more, to install breath alcohol recognition devices on their vehicles.  Three years later, new legislation is under consideration that would take a “zero tolerance” stance and require anyone convicted of a blood alcohol level over a .08 to have the option of a license suspension or driving with an interlock system for 24 months.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, states who adopted these stricter ignition interlock laws have seen incidences of driving under the influence decrease by as much as 67 percent.  If the new legislation passes, Alabama would become the 21st state to have these types of laws in their books.

Now that this legislation has been cleared by the Alabama State Senate, it must make its way through the House before becoming an official law.

Posted in DUI |

Three Arrested in Jefferson County Drug Bust

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Wednesday documenting the arrests of three men accused of trafficking methamphetamine from Georgia to west Jefferson County, and of selling heroin.  The arrests come at the conclusion of a four month long investigation conducted by the sheriff’s office that began in October of 2013.

According to the press release, the three suspected drug dealers had been purchasing large quantities of meth from a dealer in Atlanta, GA, and selling it within Jefferson County. On February 28th narcotics investigators executed a search warrant for a home in the 4600 block of Birmingport Road in Mulga and found the suspects in possession of 19 ounces of the drugs.  Chief Deputy Randy Christian said the amount was enough for 532 individual doses of heroin, plus meth with a street value of roughly $106,500.  An unknown amount of GHB was also recovered at the home.

The three suspects arrested on meth trafficking charges were:

  • David Leigh of Mulga
  • Bradley Gipson of Edgewater
  • Matthew McGaha of Morris

Sheriff Mike Hale classified Gipson and Leigh as “mid-level” drug dealers.

McGaha, 32, has since been released from jail after he posted a $50,000 bond, while Gipson, 23, remains jailed in lieu of a $52,000 bond and Leigh, 34, is held in lieu of a $152,000 bond.

Sheriff Hale held a press conference at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday where he praised the community for the tips they provided to investigators which played a huge role in the drug bust.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

Arrest Made in Birmingham Toddler Shooting

Byron Dobbins, 24, was taken into custody on Wednesday in connection to a shooting in Birmingham that involved a 3-year-old child.  The incident took place on February 18th in an apartment complex located in the 600 block of Brussels Circle.  Police have charged Dobbins with 1st degree assault and are holding him in the Jefferson County Jail without bond.

Initially police believed that the toddler had found the gun and accidentally shot himself in the abdomen.  However, evidence now points to the possibility that the child was shot by someone else.  “Investigators mentioned the doctor said there no marks on the child’s skin at all, so obviously, the weapon had to be away from the child,” Lieutenant Sean Edwards of the Birmingham Police Department said.

The toddler is in stable condition after undergoing successful surgery.

Investigators confirm that Dobbins is the owner of the gun which was hidden between two couch cushions at the apartment home.  Birmingham police officers searched for Dobbins in connection to the shooting and questioned Elsie Wilson, Dobbins’ mother, and Darshay Jones, Dobbins’ girlfriend.  The two were adamant that they had not heard from Dobbins and were unaware of his location.  However, Byron Dobbins was seen the following day getting into a car with his girlfriend and his mother.  Police arrested all three of them on February 20thand charged Jones and Wilson with hindering prosecution.

Posted in Criminal Defense |

Facts About Alcoholic Beverages

When discussing DUI defense, it is important to have knowledge of the causes of intoxication.  What many people do not know is that people as far back as 10,000 B.C have used alcoholic beverages.  Early on, people discovered that certain domesticated grains and fruits could be converted into alcoholic beverages which could be used for religious purposes, daily nutrition, or pleasure.

Early on, people discovered that grains and fruits could be converted to alcoholic beverages through two processes.  First the grains and fruits can be fermented.  During the fermentation process, wines can be produced.  Both red and white grapes can be used to produce red or white wines.  White wines are not always produced by white grapes and vice versa for red wines.  The color of a wine is actually determined by the length of time the skins are left in the fermenting must.

Beer can also be created through the fermentation process.  Beer is a malted and hopped beverage.  Cereal grains are allowed to ferment for four weeks, although this timeframe can be shorted through the addition of Gibberellic acid.  The grains will begin a germination process where the enzymes from the grains are converted to sugars.  This allows the fermentation process to occur.

The second process for converting fruits and grains is the distillation process.  This occurs when the concentration of ethyl alcohol has been increased beyond that of the original fermentation process.  Alcoholic beverages like brandy, whiskey, vodka, rum, and scotch are created through the distillation process.

When choosing a DUI defense attorney, you should always look for someone well versed in all aspects of DUI defense.  While it may seem trivial, a DUI defense attorney who is knowledgeable about the history and processes of alcoholic beverages may be able to provide a defense to your case not thought of by other attorneys.  You should contact Parkman & White, LLC to speak with one of our DUI defense attorneys.

Posted in DUI |

Understanding the Draeger Alcotest 7110

In the State of Alabama, in almost every DUI defense case, the issue of a breath test will arise.  The Draeger Alcotest 7110 is the most utilized breath-testing machine within the state of Alabama.  The Draeger, or Drager Company, manufactures the Alcotest 7110.  Draeger is based out of Lübek, Germany.

The Alcotest 7110 is designed to measure blood alcohol levels by analyzing a person’s breath.  The Alcotest 7110 uses two methods to accomplish this measurement.  The first technology used is called infrared spectroscopy (IR).  The second technology used is called electrochecmical cell (EC).

In theory two testing methods should provide greater reliability and legal integrity than a single method of testing, which the Intoxilyzer 5000 utilizes.  Although these two testing methods are supposed to be more reliable, there are other issues that can cause a faulty reading.

One such interference is radio frequency interference.  Radio frequency interference is more commonly known as electromagnetic interference.  One situation where electromagnetic interference could occur is through police radios.  In fact a handheld police radio keyed intermittently can affect radio frequency.

Another issue that can cause problems with the Alcotest 7110 is what has been titled the Tyndall effect.  The Tyndall effect can cause an elevated reading during the optical method of analysis as it measures the absorption of light.  When a person provides a breath sample, suspended solid particles, which may be located in the breath sample, can be isolated in the sample chamber and deflect infrared light.  This can keep the light from striking the detector and cause the appearance of absorption.  Common causes of this issue may be from an air bag deployment or common debris from repeated introduction of room air into the sample chamber.

The two issues listed above are only two of the numerous issues that may arise.  In order to truly vet each situation, you should contact one of our DUI attorneys at Parkman & White, LLC.

Posted in DUI |