List of Birmingham homicides in 2008

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Map of Birmingham homicides in 2008

This is a List of Birmingham homicides in 2008. It includes homicide cases occuring within the city limits during the calendar year. Note that a "homicide" refers to the cause of death as determined by a medical examiner, not to the commission of the crime of murder as charged by police and prosecutors.

89 homicides were reported in 2008, of which 82 were reported to the FBI as murder or non-negligent manslaughter. Based on the 2008 census estimate of 228,314 population, that represents 39.0 homicides per 100,000 population for the year (the fifth highest rate among cities reporting to the FBI). Birmingham had 94 homicides in 2007 (of which 86 were reported to the FBI), 109 in 2006 (104 reported as murder), and a record of 141 in 1992. Police reported an overall 6% reduction in homicides over 2007. The South Precinct saw the greatest drop (40%) while the North Precinct saw the sharpest rise (30%). The West Precinct saw a 6% drop and the East Precinct a 4% drop.

Birmingham averaged 7.4 homicides per month, or one every 4.1 days. There were 12 incidents in January, 1 in February, 9 in March, 7 in April, 2 in May, 6 in June, 13 in July, 6 in August, 11 in September, 4 in October, 7 in November and 11 in December. The longest stretch without a homicide was 28 days between January 24 and February 21. 17 homicides took place on Saturdays, 15 on Sundays, 14 on Thursdays, 11 on Fridays, 10 on Tuesdays, 9 on Wednesdays and 5 on Mondays.

Of the 89 reported homicides, suspects have been identified in at least 62 cases, apprehended in 56 and charged in 46. Convictions have been obtained in at least 8 cases and guilty pleas to murder in at least 3 more. 1 of those was a reduced charge of manslaughter following a mistrial. 1 suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and 2 in a single incident of vehicular homicide. Four cases were ruled justified with no charges filed (2 of which were police-involved shootings), and 1 was ruled accidental.

At least 64 of the 89 reported homicides were shootings, 4 were stabbings, 3 beating deaths, 3 the result of attempts by police to subdue fleeing suspects and 2 the result of a car crashes. 7 cases appeared to be domestic disputes (including 2 deaths by child abuse), 17 resulted from arguments, 11 appeared to be home invasions or robberies, one a case of mistaken identity, one a struggle following a suspected theft. 3 were police attempts to subdue suspects (2 of which have been ruled justified). The remaining cases had no reported motive. 34 deadly incidents occurred on the streets, 30 inside private homes, 10 in parking lots, 2 at motels, 1 at a nightclub and 1 in a convenience store. At least 63 of the victims were male and 9 were female.

One death that counted toward this year's total occurred in December 2007, but was ruled a homicide by the coroner's office in 2008. Note that the Birmingham Police Department does not count homicides toward the total if they have been ruled justifiable. The Birmingham News keeps those in their running total. Another that occurred in December 2008 was not classified until 2009.

Listing by date

  1. January 2: Winifred Jathea Bryant, 25, was forced into a car at gunpoint outside an apartment complex on the 200 block of 52nd Street North in Woodlawn (map). She was shot in the head when she tried to escape Her car was in the street with the engine running and her 7-year-old son inside. Arthur Lee Kirksey, the boy's father, was charged with capital murder, and arrested while in hiding at his mothers house three days later. He was convicted in May 2009 and sentenced to life without parole. [1]
  2. January 3: Grace A. Garner, 85, found bludgeoned to death with a broomstick in her bedroom at 7735 1st Avenue South in East Lake (map). The front door was forced open and the home ransacked. A $10,000 award was offered by Barber's Dairy for information leading to an arrest. Police matched blood found at the scene to evidence from a prior robbery and arrested Antonio Reed in November. Reed confessed to breaking into the house to steal a jeweled clasp he had seen while previously working for Garner. He was charged with murder and is being held without bond. [2]
  3. January 3: Dameon T. "Tiger" Harris, 28, found shot on the 1300 block of 29th Street North (map). Another gunshot victim was admitted to Carraway Hospital and may have been involved in the shooting. A woman was taken into custody, but has not been charged. [3]
  4. January 4: Evangelist Caffery D. Woods, 49, shot in her SUV parked behind a duplex on the 7400 block of 2nd Avenue South (map). Her mother, Mattie Mae Woods, 88, was shot several times as well, but survived. No arrests. A $5,000 reward for information was announced by Governor Riley in July 2008. [4]
  5. January 9: Lonzel Davis, 57, shot in his kitchen at 537 Antwerp Avenue in Gate City (map). His step-daughter Knikita Aydelotte, claimed to have found the body. She was charged with capital murder after police found evidence in her car. She changed her plea to guilty during her trial in December 2008 and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. [5]
  6. January 10: Charles Benson, 38, found shot on a sofa in a garage behind a house at 817 5th Way in Pratt City (map), apparently in a dispute over a $2,500 debt. Michael Willis was charged with intentional murder. [6]
  7. January 12: Fredric "Micky" Rogers, 31, found inside a burning Cadillac at the intersection of Jersey Street and 15th Avenue in Wylam (map). The Jefferson County coroner determined that Rogers died by gunshot.
  8. January 13: "Bik Lonnie" King, 29, was struck and killed while videotaping an illegal drag race on Republic Boulevard near Avenue W in the Pratt community (map). The drivers of the two Ford Mustangs involved in the race, Brian English Murphy of Elkmont (Limestone County) and Yardley Potter of Vernon, Florida, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. Potter's car is the one that struck King. [7]
  9. January 13: Anthony Edward Lett, 36, of Huntsville, was fatally shot during a dispute which followed Lonnie King's death during an illegal drag race on Republic Boulevard near Avenue W in the Pratt community (map). Lett was one of the race organizers and was holding $20,000 in purse money when he was shot. Ladipo Chad Bethea, of Gretna, Florida was convicted of capital murder in May 2013. (report)
  10. January 23: Herman Pride, 66, found dead inside his house at 1325 17th Way Southwest near Davis Court (map). The victims 1998 green Ford Windstar van was missing. No arrest. [8]
  11. January 23: Aurelius N. Harris, 24, found shot on the 7700 block of 7th Avenue South (map). Courtney Austin, with whom the victim had a dispute, was arrested and charged with capital murder on January 28. [9]
  12. January 24: Darryl Shelton, 47, was stabbed in his home at 1008 15th Way Southwest (map). Myron Young was taken into custody at the scene and later charged with murder. [10]
  13. January 31: Larry Armstead, 40, died on December 15, 2007 after struggling with a security guard who chased him from St Vincent's Medical Center to the alley behind the 2500 block of 9th Court South the previous afternoon (map). Although Armstead had a pre-existing heart condition and evidence of cocaine in his blood, the Jefferson County Coroner's Office ruled on January 31, 2008 that the death was a homicide. The Jefferson County District Attorney decided not to file charges, ruling the death justified. [11]
  14. February 21: Martez Mandrell Bimbow, 20, died six hours after being shot in the chest during a gunfight that erupted from an attempted robbery. The incident occurred on the evening of February 20 at the Knights Inn motel ate 1313 3rd Avenue North (map). Another man was shot in the leg. One man was taken into custody. [12]
  15. March 1: Carmeise Rekail Bogus, 27, died from gunshot wounds at UAB Hospital. He and his brother were trying to break up a fight at a party at the Bull's Eye Event Hall at 1575 Bessemer Road when he was shot. (map). Richard Lewis White, who was 16 at the time, had been ejected from the club for throwing gang signs. He returned and shot Bogus outside the club later. He was arrested soon afterward and pleaded guilty before going to trial in June 2009. [13]
  16. March 2: Curtis Pinkney, 48, found shot on the 1300 block of Carraway Boulevard (map). No arrest. [14]
  17. March 3: Gilbert Phillips, 20, was shot in the head while driving on the 3000 block of Pearson Avenue (map). He crashed into a utility pole on the 3300 block and was taken to Baptist Medical Center-Princeton where he died. A passenger suffered a head injury. Courtney Scott and Kirby Reddick were arrested and charged with capital murder in April. According to police testimony, Reddick, the shooter, was responding to a "mean look" from Phillips. Reddick was acquitted in April 2009. [15]
  18. March 15: Michelle Scott, 33, found dead at her home at 429 4th Court West. No arrest. [16]
  19. March 16: Gabriel Myers, 17, shot during an altercation at a house at 1528 Pearson Avenue Southwest (map). Dandre Hamner was arrested and charged with murder. [17]
  20. March 19: Jeffrey Lynn Clark, 46, found dead at his home at 4782 7th Court South (map). No arrest. [18]
  21. March 22: Craig Broadnax, 51, found shot in an SUV in the parking lot of the Avondale Church of Christ at 4252 2nd Avenue South (map). No arrest.
  22. March 23: Travis Thompson, 41, was shot a house at 2312 Avenue G Ensley (map). Thompson, angry after a fight with his wife, fired into the air outdoors. Nicholas Anton Bryant came out from a neighboring unit and confronted him. The altercation escalated to a shootout in which Thompson was killed and his 16-year old son was injured. Bryant was arrested in Atlanta on April 11 and convicted of intentional murder and first degree assault on May 22, 2009. Already serving a life term for marijuana trafficking, Bryant was sentenced to concurrent life and 99-year sentences for the shootings. A trial on additional robbery, attempted murder and gun charges from an incident three days later is pending. [19]
  23. March 30: Kebbie Burke, 33, found dead in a burned house on the 1900 block of 15th Court North in Druid Hills (map). The victim was identified in June 2008. A suspect is in custody on other charges. [20]
  24. April 6: Andrew Sanders, 23, shot and killed near the intersection of 24th Street South and 9th Avenue South in the Southtown Housing Community (map). No arrest. [21]
  25. April 6: Juan Carter, 24, shot on the sidewalk on the 200 block of Oporto-Madrid Boulevard North (map). No arrest. [22]
  26. April 12: Brandon Ashley Donkor, 17, a sophomore at Parker High School, was shot multiple times in a vehicle which then crashed into a pool house at Dorothy Spears Park on Bankhead Highway West (map). Evander Rivers pleaded guilty to felony murder and agreed to testify against two accomplices. Demarious Seay was charged with capital murder, but pleaded guilty in November 2009 to felony murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Clarence Rashad Adams has also been charged with capital murder. [23]
  27. April 19: John Wilson, 55, found shot in a driveway in the 4900 block of 7th Avenue in Wylam (map). His brother, Lee Roy Wilson, was arrested and charged with murder. At trial Wilson claimed that his brother threatened him with a .22 rifle during a heated argument, and that he picked up an SKS and shot his brother four times in the chest just as others at the scene were disarming him. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter with an agreement for a 15 year sentence, but may be eligible for probation. [24]
  28. April 20: Carlos Files, 34, found stabbed to death near a sidewalk in the 2200 block of 33rd Avenue North (map). Patrick Ormond, with whom he had fought, was taken into custody, but released after police judged him to have acted in self-defense. [25]
  29. April 22: Roderick Monday, 49, found shot on the 3600 block of 42nd Avenue North in Harriman Park (map). Monday's brother believes that he was shot by an acquaintance in an argument over a woman. No arrest. [26]
  30. April 28: Quinton Washington, 23, found dead on a third-floor walkway at the Days Inn at 905 11th Court West (map). A male friend of Washington's was also wounded in the shootout. Mark Edward Smith, Jr was arrested by federal marshals in Trussville and charged with murder and attempted murder. Smith's attorney says that he was acting in self-defense. [27]
  31. May 12: Michael Kissi, 29, died at UAB Hospital after being found shot at a convenience store at 4930 Richard Arrrington, Jr Boulevard North. He is believed to have been shot in the 4600 block of 14th Avenue North (map). No arrest. [28]
  32. May 15: Carlyle Emmanuel Hall, 32, found shot on the 1600 block of 7th Avenue North (map). Che Swindle has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [29]
  33. June 5: Willie Maye, 43, died after a car chase and struggle with Birmingham police officers conducting traffic stops near Hibernian Street and Miles Avenue. He was handcuffed and hit by a stun gun before he was taken to Cooper Green Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A large amount of marijuana was found in Maye's trunk. The Jefferson County Coronor ruled that Maye's death was a homicide on July 18. The district attorney decided to accept the act as justifiable, but Maye's mother filed a wrongful death suit seeking damages from the department. [30]
  34. June 9: Melvin Roshard Jackson, 25, found shot outside the garage of a house at 1700 4th Court West (map). His car was found at a motel a few blocks away. No arrest. [31]
  35. June 13: Terry J. Coker, 17, shot near 1st Avenue North and 3rd Street (map). Another man injured by gunfire at the scene claims Coker was trying to rob him. Investigators deemed the homicide to have been justified. [32]
  36. June 14: Ledarius Stokes, 23, shot on the 2000 block of Snavely Avenue in Powderly (map). Tyrone Daniels was taken into custody and charged with murder. [33]
  37. June 26: Dexter Jenkins, 34, shot on the 300 block of Garfield Lane Southwest in the Loveman Village housing project (map). Police believe he was targeted. No arrest. [34].
  38. June 27: Berlie Moore, 26, found shot in his car outside a house at 1601 32nd Street in Ensley (map). Investigators believe he was targeted because he broke up two fights between a married couple at a nightclub and was shot by the husband from another car just after driving the wife and her friend home. Jeffrey Heard, 42, has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [35]
  39. June 29: Antonio Vidal, 26, found shot on the ground near his car on the 1100 block of 3rd Avenue West (map). No arrest. [36]
  40. July 3: Denice Dixon, 28, found shot inside her home on the 2600 block of 29th Street in Ensley (map). A 32-year-old male who later committed suicide in Hoover is suspected of shooting her.[37]
  41. July 3: Derrick Pelt, 33, found shot on the 1100 block of 2nd Street West in Smithfield (map). No arrest. [38]
  42. July 5: Willie Daniels, 20, and another man were killed during a 4:00 AM gunfight outside Banana Joe's at 1016 20th Street South in Five Points South (map). Pierre Smith, 16, was taken to Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and later booked on 2 counts each of capital murder and attempted murder. He was found not guilty in November 2009. [39]
  43. July 5: Jason Showers, 20, was the second man killed during a 4:00 AM gunfight outside Banana Joe's. [40]
  44. July 5: Isaiah Ford, 18, shot while at the wheel of his car on the 2300 block of South Park Terrace in the South Park Apartments near Five Points West (map). Two others were in Ford's car at the time of the shooting. Ricky Deonte Ward, 16 years old at the time of the shooting, was arrested in August and charged with capital murder and attempted murder. [41]
  45. July 6: Quintez Wilson, 33, found dead, along with a large quantity of drugs, in a vehicle at 4000 block of 38th Avenue North in Inglenook (map). Reuben Tolbert has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [42]
  46. July 6: Antonio Smitherman, 42, found dead in a yard at 4124 38th Avenue North in Inglenook (map). Reuben Tolbert has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [43]
  47. July 8: Jermaine Watford, 34 (the brother of Tiger Harris, killed on January 3) was shot in an apartment at 2957 Gallant Drive (map). According to police he was fleeing an off-duty officer when he ran into an occupied apartment and was shot and killed by the resident. Several witnesses and a possible suspect were placed in custody. A bag of marijuana was recovered from Watford's car. [44]
  48. July 24: Derrick Witherspoon, 37, found shot dead with his wife and two step-children inside a burning house at 4232 Howard Avenue Southwest in Grasselli Heights (map). Shaunasty Lowe and Steven Jamal Williams were arrested and charged with three counts of capital murder. Unverified accounts say that Witherspoon sold cocaine and may have had as much as 6 kilos in the house. Lowe's first trial ended in mistrial and he was found not guilty on retrial in September 2010. Williams' trial is scheduled for December 2010 (report)
  49. July 24: Elizabeth McFarland Witherspoon, 34, found shot to death along with her husband, Derrick Witherspoon, and her two children in their home. (See above)
  50. July 24: Jerome McFarland, 13, found shot to death with his brother and both parents inside their home (See above).
  51. July 24: Justin McFarland, 11, found shot to death with his brother and both parents inside their home (See above).
  52. July 25: James Valentine, 55, found dead at a gas station on the 1500 block of Finley Boulevard. Robert Johnson has been arrested and charged with murder. [45]
  53. August 1: Martez Collins, 42, shot while at the wheel of his Chevrolet Suburban on the 4300 block of Messer Airport Highway (map). The SUV crashed into a tree in the median. A female passenger was also injured. No arrest.
  54. August 5: Kerry Whitmore, 20, shot in the parking lot of the Springville Landing Apartments along Huffman and Springville Roads (map). Whitmore's brother, Kevin McMillian, was taken into custody at the scene and later charged after investigators concluded the shot was not accidental. [46]
  55. August 10: Romana "Bull" Keahey, 38, found dead in a driveway on the 8200 block of 6th Avenue North after ShotSpotter detected multiple gunshots at that location (map). Investigators determined that the shooting took place during a robbery. After being identified as the attackers by Keahey's girlfriend three months later, Robert Muse and Kendarius Peak were arrested and charged with capital murder. Muse is the father of two of the witness's children. [47]
  56. August 11: LaWanda Russell, 17, found dead from gunshots on the 700 block of 17th Place Southwest between Steiner and Pearson Avenues (map). She was in a car with a group of friends who were shot at by a passing vehicle in an ongoing dispute. As her friends returned fire she jumped out of the car, but was shot while fleeing. Police in the area heard the shots and chased down a suspicious vehicle. One of its occupants was injured and was taken to UAB Hospital. The other two were taken into custody along with a rifle and a handgun. None of three will be charged in the death. Two others involved in the fight remain at large. [48], [49]
  57. August 12: Jermaine Wesley, 24, found injured from gunshots on the 7600 block of 5th Avenue South near London Avenue in East Lake (map). Police responded to gunfire detected by the ShotSpotter system and transported the victim to UAB Hospital where he died from his wounds. [50]
  58. August 14: Mohammed "Mo" Hadi, 22, was found shot to death inside the BP convenience store where he worked as a clerk at 1101 3rd Avenue North downtown (map). Security cameras showed an armed man enter the store at about 9:30 AM and immediately fire at Hadi. Robbery does not appear to have been the motive. He was found dead by a customer at 10:30 AM. Moore Oil Company offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. Maxson Flie was arrested and charged with murder in December. [51]
  59. August 27: Kemarrious Moore, 2, died at Children's Hospital 10 days after being brought in with severe bodily injuries. Jamel Hubbard, the boys father, had already been arrested and was charged with capital murder. He pleaded guilty to felony murder in March 2011 and was sentenced to 20 years. (report)
  60. September 4: Demetrius Raines, 31, a little league football coach, was shot outside a house at 4138 39th Avenue North in Inglenook (map). Investigators are seeking a black 2005 Ford F-150 with no license plates which may have been involved. Raines' was the first case for which the crew from "The First 48" was on hand. [52]
  61. September 5: Jerry Marcrum, 31, the son of the Jefferson County sheriff's deputy, was shot to death in his car on the 8200 block of Rugby Avenue in East Lake (map). He was checking on rental property and confronted a group of copper thieves shortly before he was murdered. A witness drove him to 77th Street and 1st Avenue North where he was found by police. He died en route to UAB Hospital. Robert Alexander was arrested later the same evening at 8131 Rugby Avenue after police received a tip. His September 2009 prosecution for capital murder resulted in a mistrial. He was retried and convicted on the lesser charge of provocation manslaughter. Judge Laura Petro sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment. [53]
  62. September 12: Andree Devore "ATL" Frierson, 28, was found shot at a house at 116 60th Street North (map). Keith "Slick" Cotton was arrested in 2010 and charged with murder. Frierson and Cotton's brother, Tyrone Bailey, had argued over money earlier the same day. (report)
  63. September 13: Isaias Rivera Mexecana was found dead at 4845 Court O (map). His brother was beaten and taken to UAB Hospital. Michael Armstrong, William Carrington, Jr and Johnny "Squeeky" Coach, Jr were arrested and charged with robbery and capital murder. An accomplice, Brooke Pugh, has not been charged. Carrington, believed to have been the shooter, was convicted of felony murder in August 2010 and sentenced to life. The murder charges against Armstrong and Coach were dropped. (report)
  64. September 13: Paul Meadows, 27, was found dead in the yard at 2304 Eufala Avenue (map). Antonius Demond Pledger is sought in connection with the case, but remains at large. [54]
  65. September 14: Brandon Cortez Martin, 17, found shot inside his car on the 2900 block of Avenue Z in Ensley (map). Witnesses say that passengers in an SUV shot at him. No arrest. [55]
  66. September 16: Angela Felton, 38, found shot inside a home at 541 Frances Street after a standoff between her husband, Warren Slater and Birmingham police (map). Slater, 41, who was also found dead in the house, was facing jail time for housing fraud. He is believed to have shot his wife and step-son, and then himself. The step-son, Torrence Felton, 20, who was found critically injured outside another house on the same street earlier in the afternoon. [56]
  67. September 20: Vincent Lewis, 42, shot at his home on South Park Terrace in Five Points West (map). Lewis was shot after his wife told his 26 year-old son that he had threatened her with a knife. No arrest. [57]
  68. September 20: Gmarion Hargrove, 11 weeks old, was found unresponsive with head trauma at his home on the 1500 block of 33rd Street Ensley. He was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital. The death was ruled a homicide by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office on September 25. [58]
  69. September 24: Joseph Scholl, 63, found in a burning car in front of a vacant house on the 600 block of Exeter Avenue. The house was also set on fire. Philip Aaron and Angela Rena Green have both been charged with capital murder. [59]
  70. September 26: Aubrey A. Johnson, 19, shot at 7921 4th Avenue South by Birmingham police during a confrontation following a hit-and-run accident and a short car chase (map). The shooting was reviewed by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The Jefferson County District attorney's office determined that the officer was acting in self-defense. [60]
  71. October 1: Demarcus Ferrell, 19, was found shot in his car at 19th Avenue North and 16th Street in North Birmingham (map). Witnesses reported seeing Ferrell shot first in the parking lot of the Uptown Apartments, then followed as he tried to flee in his white Crown Victoria. Antonio Rodriguez Spencer, recently released from prison, has been arrested and charged with capital murder. Ferrell's case was documented by a crew from "The First 48". [61]
  72. October 5: Caneshua Henry, 21, was shot near 2905 Gallant Drive (map). Allen Hinkle was arrested at the scene and charged with murder and attempted murder. [62]
  73. October 7: Alfonso Long, 45, died from injuries sustained in an assault on October 4 at 2519 9th Avenue South in the Southtown housing community (map). Two men were taken into custody for questioning, but no charges have been filed. [63]
  74. October 12: Reginald Wylie Osby, 59, was shot by a Birmingham Police officer while he was stabbing Deron Cook, with a barbecue fork at 1917 Avenue J in Ensley (map). Cook was Osby's stepson, who suffers from mental illness. He had attacked his mother and stepfather, and has been charged with attempted murder. The shooting was reviewed by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office ruled that the officer was acting in the defense of Cook and will not file charges in the shooting. [64]
  75. October 29: George Boatman, 44, found shot in the parking lot of the Town Suites on Huffman Road after an apparent robbery. No arrest.
  76. November 1: Jamie Hedgeman, 19, was killed in a gunfight at the Kimbrough Homes project on the 2800 block of John Bryan Road in Wenonah. Cortez Towns and Rodriguez Williams were both convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison. [65]
  77. November 5: Ladarius McMillan, 21, was shot to death on the 1700 block of 32nd Place North in Norwood and found outside a car at the Norwood Plaza apartments nearby (map). Two others were injured in the assault. Cedric Alfred "Main Main" Fenderson was arrested and charged with capital murder. He was convicted of manslaughter in August 2009. [66]
  78. November 13: Jaryle McClellan, 32, found shot to death in a car at the intersection of Avenue T and 30th Street in Ensley (map). No arrest. [67]
  79. November 20: Malcolm Hurd, 61, was stabbed to death after refusing a cigarette to acquaintance Dexter Taylor at 3517 65th Street North (map). Taylor was apprehended soon afterward at a different house and has been charged with murder. [68]
  80. November 23: Christian Callins, 24, was shot at 6825 Division Avenue and died later at UAB Hospital (map). Martez Seay, Michael "Slim" Mays and Luran "Flukie" Harrell III, the suspected trigger man, were charged December 2009. Seay pleaded guilty to murder in 2010, but withdrew the plea. His January 2011 trial ended in a mistrial. Harrell and Mays both pleaded to felony murder and were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. (report)
  81. November 24: Gregory Shelton, Jr, 27, found dead in a field near the 2500 block of South Park Drive in Southwest Birmingham (map). Martez Seay, a suspected accomplice with Shelton in Christian Callins' murder, was charged with killing Shelton the next day. Investigators believe it was because Shelton did not dispose of a cell phone related to the earlier homicide. [69]
  82. November 26: John Mateo-Ortiz, 2 months, was brought from his apartment in the 5000 block of 16th Avenue North to Children's Hospital by paramedics. The coroner quickly determined that the death was a homicide. No arrest has been made. [70]
  83. November 30: Patrick Cortez Levert, 26, was shot while he and a teenage accomplice attempted to rob Andre Savannah at gunpoint in the 100 block of Cotton Avenue Southwest. After being shot in the chest, Savannah pulled his own gun and killed Levert and wounded his accomplice Malik Hameed. For his participation, Hameed was initially charged with capital murder, but the charge was reduced to felony murder and armed robbery after the original charge was dismissed. Savannah's deadly response was deemed justifiable and he was not charged. [71]
  84. December 12: Shawn Ahrent, 20, was shot accidently by a friend, Jason Browning, who was playing with his loaded gun inside Club Tantra at 2017 Highland Avenue (map). Browning was charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury declined to indict him. Ahrent's mother sued Club Tanta and Club 1120 claiming that they precipitated his death by serving alcohol to Ahrent and Browning, who were both under age. [72]
  85. December 26: Charles Williams, 81, was found shot to death in his car at the McDonald's restaurant at 732 Lomb Avenue (map). No arrest. [73]
  86. December 26: Bobby Thompson, 48, was stabbed to death in a fight in an alley near 22nd Street and Avenue E in Ensley. No arrest.
  87. December 28: Osmond Williams, 20, was found shot to death in a car in the alley behind the 7400 block of 1st Avenue South in East Lake. Kareem Montez Finnerson, Luran "Flukie" Harrell III and Martez Seay have been charged with capital murder. Finnerson contracted with the other defendants to kill Williams. All three pleaded guilty, though Seay later withdrew his plea. Harrell and Finnerson were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. (report)
  88. December 28: Darrelle Sampson, 17, was found shot to death in the same car in the alley behind the 7400 block of 1st Avenue South in East Lake. She was killed because she was in Williams' car. (memorial)
  89. December 30: The remains of an unidentified victim were found in a burned car towed to Birmingham Towing at 3300 8th Avenue North.


Members of the National Stop the Violence Coalition and Alabama Youth Against Violence staged a rally at Five Points West on January 12, prompted by the rising murder rate. (Bryant - Jan. 12)

Starting with a February 8 rally, Mayor Larry Langford and co-director of the Mayor's Office of Citizen's Assistance Frank Matthews launched a campaign, Plan 10/30, to involve African American men as leaders in turning their communities away from violence. Only black men were invited to the first meeting at Fair Park Arena, which focused on personal responsibility. Later rallies were held for black women on February 29 and for families on April 4. A fourth rally, on April 25 was proclaimed as "It's Time to Pray", with comparisons to the story of Nineveh in the biblical Book of Jonah. Mayor Langford ordered 2,000 burlap sacks to be worn by attendees as an expression of humility and mourning.

Congressman Artur Davis hosted a "Save Our Streets" forum on combating violent crime on March 3 at Birmingham City Hall. Representatives from the Cincinnati Police Department, the New York City's mayor's office, non-profit Third Way and other groups shared their experiences with programs which have been successful in other cities. (Norris - Mar. 4)

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsored a series of public presentations entitled "No Time for Crime". The talks, given by Birmingham Police Chief A. C. Roper, Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale and Colonel Chris Murphy of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, are aimed at fostering public-private partnerships for crime reduction. (Robinson - May 6)

On July 8, following an especially violent Independence Day weekend, the Mothers Who Want the Violence to Stop help a prayer vigil at 5808 1st Avenue South. (Coman - July 8). Shortly thereafter, at the City Council meeting and again at a news conference called by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Mayor Langford outlined plans to increase fines against parents for curfew violations. (Stock - July 9). He also proposed a new state law allowing the city to seize cars in which the owner or passengers are found to be carrying a firearm illegally. The curfew was passed by the City Council and takes effect on October 1. A church-sponsored rally at Linn Park on August 30 reinforced the message that parents need to take responsibility for their children's behavior.

Beginning in September a crew from the cable television program "The First 48" videotaped the efforts of Birmingham homicide investigators performing their duties.

on September 20 about 200 friends and family members of homicide victims met for an annual tribute at Boutwell Auditorium organized by the Parents Against Violence Foundation.

On October 18 residents of the Inglenook neighborhood marched around their community praying and singing "Satan, We're Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down" as a demonstration of the power of God. (Ruisi - October 15)

Since 2006 barber Erskine Simpson and retired police officer Earl Melton have placed flowers in the window of Simpson's New Deal Barber Shop to commemorate each death. (Gray - November 6)


  • Breaking News from the Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Walter and Dawn Kent (January 12, 2008) "Update: Victim in burned car is city's 7th homicide." Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (February 4, 2008) "Langford plan has sights set on crime." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (May 6, 2008) "Metro crime reduction series hosts speakers." Birmingham News
  • Coman, Victoria L. and Jeremy Gray (July 8, 2008) "Anti-violence group plans prayer vigil for victims of weekend violence." Birmingham News
  • Stock, Erin and John Folasade (July 9, 2008) "In wake of Southside slayings, Birmingham officials press for curfew crackdown, stiffer penaltie." Birmingham News
  • Gordon, Robert K. (August 31, 2008) "Birmingham-area churches rally to bring attention to violence." Birmingham News
  • Ruisi, Anne (October 15, 2008) "March against drugs, crime slated." Birmingham News
  • Gray, Jeremy (November 6, 2008) "New Deal barber shop commemorates each of Birmingham's homicides with a flower." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (January 1, 2009) "Murders in Jefferson County, Alabama down 2 years in row." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (January 4, 2009) "33 Birmingham homicides in 2008 remain unsolved." Birmingham News
  • Paepcke, Jonm (January 5, 2009) "Birmingham murders drop in 2008, increase in north precinct." NBC
  • Robinson, Carol (September 15, 2009) "Mobile 7th, Birmingham 19th in nation in 2008 murder rate." Birmingham News

External links

See also