Category Archives: Criminal Law

Dothan Police Make Arrest for Burglary

Jeremy Cordarel McKenzie, 27, of Melondy Lane, was arrested by the Dothan Police department on May 2nd after officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 800 block of State Avenue.

Investigators say that McKenzie forced his way into a relative’s home after the victim refused to let him in.  Once inside the home, McKenzie allegedly assaulted the family member and took several items before leaving the residence.  Officers located McKenzie a short period later at another relative’s home where he was taken into custody and charged with felony first-degree burglary.

McKenzie was taken to the Houston County Jail where he is currently being held on $250,000 bail.

First-degree robbery is a Class A felony and is punishable by no less than 10 years and no more than life or 99 years in prison.

In the state of Alabama, a person commits the crime of robbery in the … Read the rest

The Ever Eroding 4th Amendment

In an opinion released by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 22, 2014, the Court furthered the erosion of the 4th Amendment.  In Prado Navarette v. California, the Court essentially said that it’s “OK” to pull over a vehicle based upon an anonymous tip and little else.  The Petitioner was pulled over after an anonymous 911 caller stated that Petitioner ran her off the road five minutes earlier and gave an accurate description of the truck, which was found driving roughly in the area reported.  California Highway Patrol responded and followed the Petitioner’s vehicle for five minutes without any evidence of dangerous driving.

The Court stretched and stretched until it found the call was reliable, largely because it was a 911 call, based on a supposed eyewitness event.  The Court surmised that the 911 call was recorded and would prevent false reports, although absolutely nothing was gleaned about … Read the rest

Two Men Charged in State Trooper Shooting

Police have officially charged two men with attempted murder after an Alabama Highway Patrol officer was wounded in a shootout on Saturday evening.  Zachary Taylor Wood, 23, and Dillon Scott Rafsky, 21, are in custody at Geneva County jail after shooting State Trooper Lee Phillips during a routine traffic stop at around 5:30 p.m.

Authorities say Phillips pulled over a Toyota for a traffic violation when the vehicle suddenly came to an abrupt stop and a suspect opened fire on Phillips.  One of the suspects was taken into custody while the other suspect fled into the woods before being captured a short time later.  Trooper Phillips suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Flowers Hospital where he is in stable condition.

The two suspects were also taken to local hospitals where they were treated for gunshot wounds.  The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is still investigating this matter.

The sentence … Read the rest

Dothan Woman Charged with Robbery

The Dothan Police Department made a felony arrest after responding after responding to an assault complaint on April 8th at 900 Commons Drive.  Officers arrived at the scene to find that a loss prevention employee at Belk’s department store had attempted to stop an unknown female who left the store with merchandise that had not been paid for.  The store employee told investigators that the suspect hit her with a bag and then fled the scene in a silver passenger vehicle.

An alert officer spotted a vehicle fitting the description and pulled over Donna Lynn Simmons, 65, of Pinetree Drive.  Simmons was arrested and taken into custody on third-degree robbery charges.  A bond has been set at $15,000.

Third-degree robbery, also referred to as “Strong Arm Robbery”, is a Class “C” felony in the state of Alabama and is punishable by a minimum of one year in prison.  This … Read the rest

Headland Man Charged with Animal Cruelty

Jerry Michael Summers, 46, has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after beating two puppies with a baseball bat.  Summers was taken into custody over the weekend and is being held at the Henry County jail on $1,000 bail.

Deputies arrested Summers after his girlfriend reported the crime to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office last Thursday.  Summers told the deputies that he believed the dogs to be coyote puppies and Henry County Sheriff William Maddox believes alcohol was likely involved.  The two puppies had to be euthanized due to the injuries suffered during the incident.

Cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Alabama and on the first conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both fine and imprisonment.  Repeat offenses are punished … Read the rest

Dothan Attorney Arrested on Theft Charges

Frederick McNab, a 52-year-old former Dothan attorney, finds himself back in trouble with authorities after allegedly stealing nearly $2 million from three different people.  McNab was arrested and charged last Friday with 14 felony counts of first-degree theft of property, one felony count of second-degree theft of property, and one misdemeanor count of third-degree theft of property. These new charges bring the total number of felony theft indictments against McNab to twelve, and the total number of theft charges to twenty-five.  The amount allegedly stolen by McNab in these theft cases now totals over $4 million.

Houston County Sheriff’s deputies first arrested McNab two days prior to Christmas after a grand jury returned multiple felony indictments against him alleging offenses of theft by deception.  McNab posted bail totaling $812,500 shortly after his arrest.

McNab is scheduled to be arraigned on March 31st in a Houston County Circuit Court … Read the rest

Three Arrested in Dothan Armed Robbery Case

A brief armed robbery investigation by the Dothan Police Department officially concluded on Tuesday night with the arrest of three individuals.  According to Police Sergeant Maurice Eggleston, Johnathon Walker and Joshua Marsh were taken into custody around 11:00 p.m. and charged with first-degree armed robbery.  Demetrus Heath was arrested earlier in the day and also charged with first-degree armed robbery.

According to investigators, on March 14th a 22 year old male was approached in the 1000 block of South Bell Street and robbed by Heath, Walker, and Marsh.  The victim was held at gunpoint by one of the suspects while the other two searched through the victim’s vehicle.  The three suspects were able to flee the scene with items belonging to the victim but were later identified.

Dothan Police Lieutenant Will Benny, the supervisor of the criminal investigation division, released a statement confirming that no one had been … Read the rest

Houston County Man Charged with Child Solicitation

Rodney Lynn Reese, 42, of Cowarts, is behind bars following a brief child solicitation investigation conducted by the Dothan Police Department.  According to a statement from Dothan Police Sergeant Maurice Eggleston, Reese has been charged with felony electronic solicitation of a child and been taken to the Houston County Jail.

Investigators say on Tuesday March 6th Reese began communicating through a social media website, with a Dothan Police Officer whom he believed was a 14 year old female.  During their conversations Reese said that he wanted to perform sexual acts with the 14 year old female and arranged to meet her locally in Dothan.  Police took Reese into custody immediately after he arrived at the designated location where he expected to be meeting the girl.

Rodney Reese is currently being held on $75,000 bail.

As with most felonies, the range of punishment can include a deferred or suspended sentence, up … Read the rest

Hall v. Florida and Intellectual Disability

On March 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hall v. Florida. In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the Supreme Court ruled that the execution of the mentally retarded (now referred to as “intellectual disability) violated the Eighth Amendment. Atkins allowed the states to formulate their own definitions of intellectual disability. What has actually happened is that the states have arrived at their own tests, some based upon accepted psychological standards and some not. Some state place heavy burdens upon the Defendant.

At issue in Hall v. Florida is Florida’s use of a bright line IQ score without the consideration of a standard deviation. Florida’s test takes into account the three standard elements in Atkins, but sets the IQ cut off at an IQ of 70, without consideration of the standard deviation of IQ testing. Such a standard is contrary to accepted clinical standards.

We … Read the rest

Eufaula Man Wanted on Capital Murder Charge

Authorities are still looking for Marques Ivory, 23, who is wanted on a capital murder charge in connection to a fatal shooting in Eufaula that took place around 10:45 p.m. on January 30th.  The 20-year-old victim of the shooting, Darrian Scott, was taken by private vehicle to Medical Center Barbour and later transferred to Southeast Alabama Medical Center by Eufaula Rescue where he was pronounced dead.  The incident was initially labeled as just a shooting but has since been upgraded to capital murder.

The shooting took place near State Docks Road where police confirm that Scott was shot in the back of the head while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.  Authorities believe the gun shot that killed Scott came from within the vehicle Scott traveled in.

Several law enforcement agencies continue to aggressively look for Ivory including the Fugitive Task Force and the United States Marshall … Read the rest