Tag Archive for: Murder

Second Suspect Arrested in Birmingham Homicide Investigation. Aronde Samuels, 22, has been arrested by Birmingham police and becomes the second suspect taken into custody in connection to a June homicide incident that took place in the 1800 Block of 3rd Place Southwest.  Samuels was finally located after a witness came forward and identified him in conjunction with the murder of 53-year-old Arthur Mills.  He is currently being held without bail at the Jefferson County Jail and has been charged with capital murder.

The first suspect, Davarius McGee, has been charged with capital murder, first-degree robbery, and attempted murder.  Therefore, he is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail on two $60,000 bonds.

The murder took place at 5:10 p.m. on June 15th when Juliette Lockett was attempting to leave her home.  She was approached by the suspects who stole a ring from her finger and her 2009 silver Cadillac CTS.  Her neighbor, Arthur Mills, confronted the men and shots were exchanged.  The rear window of an SUV on Lockett’s property was shot out and Mills was struck in the chest.  He was rushed to UAB Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:42 p.m.

Although, Lockett died from a massive heart attack on July 19, exactly one month and five days after the attack outside of her home.

Detectives continue their search for a third suspect. Anyone with information about the case to call Birmingham’s Homicide Unit at 205-254-176 or CrimeStoppers at 205-254-7777.

Alabama Expungement Law Takes Effect. Have you ever filled out a job application? If you have, you’ve probably been asked, “Have you ever been arrested?” It’s a pretty loaded question.

What if you were arrested, but prosecutors dropped the charges? What should you say then?

If you say no, you’re lying. If you say yes, the person reading the application will judge you for something you didn’t even do. “Well, they were arrested. Therefore, they must’ve done something wrong,” they’ll think. In addition, if they want, they can search the records and see the arrest for themselves.

Alabama’s lawmakers are fixing this problem.  On July 7th, a new expungement law will go into effect that allows Alabamians who have been arrested, but not convicted of a crime, to wipe away their arrest records. The expungment law also covers those that entered and completed deferment programs like drug or DUI court.  If your records are expunged, you may not have to disclose your arrest records on job, credit, or other applications.

Do you qualify to have your arrest records expunged? Let’s find out:

If you were charged with a misdemeanor, traffic violation, or municipal ordinance violation, your arrest records can be expunged. For instance, they can be expunged immediately if your charge was dismissed with prejudice, no-billed by a grand jury, or if you were found not guilty. For example, if the charge was dismissed without prejudice and prosecutors haven’t refiled it, you have to wait two years to expunge your records.

However, if you were charged with a felony, expungement depends on whether or not you were charged with a “violent” felony. Section 13A-11-70 of the Alabama Code lists the felonies that are considered violent. They are:

Most likely, any other felony charges are non-violent and can be expunged immediately if they were no-billed by a grand jury, dismissed with prejudice, or if you were found not guilty. Although, if you were offered a diversion program like mental health treatment, drug rehab, or veterans’ court, you can expunge your records one year after you complete the program. Finally, if your charge was dismissed without prejudice and prosecutors haven’t refiled it, you can get it expunged after five years if you haven’t committed any other crimes during that time.

So you qualify under the new law. How do you start expunging your arrest record? First, send a petition to the circuit court where the charge came from. Your petition will only be considered if you’ve already paid your other court fees and fines. Furthermore, you need to send a copy of your petition to the DA and the law enforcement agency that arrested you. The petition requires:

  • A sworn statement that you meet the law’s requirements;
  • A case action summary or certified copy of the arrest and case disposition;
  • A certified copy of the arrest record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center;
  • A description of the charges to be considered for removal and a description of the agencies involved in the arrest and any incarceration;
  • And $300 plus any local filing costs or court costs that the court charges.

Firstly, after you submit your petition, the DA’s office and the alleged victims have 45 days to file their own petition to keep the arrest records public. If nobody opposes, the judge can expunge the records right away, but otherwise, the judge will set a hearing at least 14 days from the date of the opposing petition.

Lastly, having a lawyer can make this process much easier.

However, if you have old arrest records hanging over your head, the new law could be a great opportunity for relief. Don’t miss it. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today to see if you qualify for expungement. If you do qualify, that attorney may be your best ally as you draft your petition. Therefore, an attorney can negotiate with the DA, explain your circumstances to the judge, and represent you at a hearing if victims object to your petition. Moreover, should you choose to call an attorney, the defenders at Boles Holmes White, are prepared to help you expunge your old arrest records. Contact us today for a free consultation at 205-502-2000.

Birmingham Man Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges. Johnny Jerell Effinger, 32, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted murder before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tracie Todd during a hearing on Tuesday November 12, 2013.  Each charge is a class A felony. Furthermore, is punishable with 15 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $60,000.

These charges stem from the following incidents that took place in 2012:

  • On April 2, 2012, Effinger was charged with attempted murder after he shot at another man who he had taken money from.
  • On March 20, 2012, Effinger robbed two people at gun point on 1st avenue North. According to the indictment, he stole $100, two cellular phones, a debit card, and a purse from the victims.
  • On September 26, 2012, Effinger was involved in a robbery at O’Reilly Auto Parts on Gadsden Highway.  Prosecutors say that he acted as a lookout while another man broke into the business. While he took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the scene.

Under a plea agreement with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, Johnny Jerell Effinger was given a 20 year split sentence with five years in prison and five years on probation.  If he breaks the terms of his probation, the judge could impose the remainder of his 20 year prison sentence.

Attorney Charles Salvagio represented Effinger in this case.

Capital Charges Brought in Infant Drowning Case. A Madison, Alabama woman whose child died after being left in a bathtub fully clothed with the water running has now had the charges against her upgraded to capital murder, according to prosecutors. 27-year old Desiree Dawn Childers was served with a capital murder warrant. Therefore, meaning if convicted she could face either the death penalty or life without parole. However, there has been no statement from the prosecutor’s office on whether the death penalty will be sought. Childers was originally charged with reckless murder. The upgrade to the capital charge carries several implications.

First, a capital case has different bond requirements than does a regular murder case. Alabama law requires bond be set in all cases except those involving capital crimes. Which means that Childers could very well be held without bond until trial. Second, charging a defendant with a capital offense raises the stakes in nearly every aspect of the case. For example, preliminary hearings, discovery issues, and even bifurcation of the trial into a liability phase and a sentencing phase. In capital cases, the is a trial on whether the defendant is guilty of the crime charged, and then if guilt is determined, there is another “trial” as to what sentence should be imposed (i.e. death or life without parole).

Prosecutors often charge defendants capitally to induce a plea agreement to a lesser offense. For example, if in this case the charges had remained at reckless murder, then any plea negotiations would be oriented by the minimum sentence for that offense (i.e. 20 years). The defense would then negotiate to try and obtain a lesser charge (e.g. negligent homicide or manslaughter). However, now that the defendant is potentially facing the death penalty, a plea agreement for reckless murder and 20 years looks much more attractive.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime such as capital murder, it must be your top priority to get the best legal representation possible. The criminal attorneys at Boles Holmes White have decades of experience handling high-stakes criminal cases, and are fierce advocates in the courtroom as well as at the negotiating table. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call today at 205-502-2000.

Driver charged with murder in DUI fatality. Jennifer Fram, 25, may face murder charges after a drunk driving accident that took the life of her passenger, 26-year-old local musician Nicholas Markow.

Fram was denied bail on Thursday.

The murder charge stems apparently from the fact that Fram was already on probation for a prior DUI conviction. According to the report from the Press-Register, murder, in this instance, refers to an “extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Fram’s friends and relatives were stunned by the decision. Allison Ball, Fram’s childhood friend, told the Press-Register that “I think she’s in complete shock. … She will learn her lesson. I don’t think she should go to jail for murder.”

Assistant District Attorney Jo Beth Murphree asserted on the contrary that Fram’s actions were “not a mistake,” contending that Fram was “well aware of what the consequences could be.” In addition, Murphree noted that Fram admitted to having consumed alcohol that evening.

However, importantly, the results of a blood test had not yet been received.

Authorities say that Fram’s vehicle left the road, hit a traffic sign, and collided with a pole. Neither Fram nor Markow were wearing seatbelts; Markow was ejected from the vehicle. Fram wore a neck brace at the bail hearing on Thursday.

It is crucial to note that the results of Fram’s blood test are still pending. Also, Fram has not yet hired a lawyer; another hearing was scheduled for Monday to enable her to find representation. It is not clear therefore whether Fram will seek a plea agreement or a trial. However, while Markow’s death was unquestionably a horrible tragedy, and while Fram apparently admitted that she had been drinking on the night of the accident, a murder charge—regardless of how one defines the term—seems excessive.