The Seay family is a family of four residing on U. S. Highway 78 in which each member has either been charged with or convicted of murder or attempted murder. Mother Yolanda Seay raised three boys, Martez, Cortez and Demarius with help from her mother, Ethel Brown. According to friends and neighbors the boys were raised in a disciplined household and regularly attended Mount Hermon Baptist Church.
Martez (born August 31, 1983) dropped out of West End High School. He later got his GED and worked at Little Caesar's Pizza. He has two daughters. He and his then girlfriend Kandi Hawkins were charged with capital murder in the May 2009 death of Lonnie Vaughn, a Vestavia Hills man who was found dead and stripped of his clothing in a wooded area near Westchester Drive and 1st Street Northwest. Vaughn was planning to open a jazz club in downtown Birmingham. Seay was arrested on May 12, 2009 at his apartment on Tuscaloosa Avenue.
Martez is a suspect, along with associates Michael Mays and Luran "Flukie" Harrell III, in a string of homicides in late 2008. Christian Callins was shot on November 23 during a robbery attempt on Division Avenue. The homicide went unsolved until December 2009 when witness testimony implicated Seay's crew. The body of Gregory Shelton Jr, of East Lake was found the next day in a field near South Park Drive. Seay had been involved in a dispute with Shelton. An initial charge against Seay was dismissed when prosecutors declined to identify a witness, but he was indicted again, along with Mays and Harrell, in December 2009.
Martez is also a suspect, along with Harrell, in the December 28, 2008 double homicide that claimed the lives of Osmond Williams and his girlfriend, Woodlawn High School student Darrelle Sampson. The couple were found dead in his car in the alley behind the 7400 block of 1st Avenue South in East Lake. According to prosecutors, Williams was targeted as retribution for stealing from drug and used car dealer Kareem Montez Finnerson, who has also been charged with capital murder. The contract killing was arranged by Michael Mays. Sampson was likely killed because she was with Williams. Seay was indicted for those deaths in December 2009.
On May 13, 2010 Seay pleaded guilty to the murders of Christian Callins, Gregory Shelton, Osmond Williams, Darelle Sampson, and Lonnie Vaughn, and to participating in a conspiracy to kill Kandi Hawkins. Judge Tommy Nall sentenced him to life in the latter case. He withdrew his guilty pleas in July. His combined capital murder trials in January 2011 ended in mistrial, though he was convicted of conspiring and soliciting for Hawkins' murder and received an automatic sentence of life with the possibility of parole on that count.
In February 2011, Martez pleaded guilty to capital murder in Vaughn's death, accepting a deal from prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.
Cortez (born c. 1986) pleaded guilty to the murder of Joe Mack Carpenter on December 14, 2004. He was accused of invading the suspected drug house at the Larkway Gardens Apartments armed with a shotgun. He argued with the occupants about money before opening fire, killing Carpenter and wounding two others. He is serving a life sentence and and two 25-year sentences concurrently. He will be eligible for parole in 2019.
Demarius (born c. 1991) dropped out of Parker High School at 16. On April 12, 2008 he and Evander Jamez Rivers, 17, were charged with capital murder for the April shooting death of Brandon Donkor, a Parker student. Donkor was found dead in his car after it crashed into the pool house at Dorothy Spears Park. He was arrested in October 2008. Yolanda and her sister offered their homes as security to post his $100,000 bail.
In November 2009 Demarius pleaded guilty to felony murder in Donkor's shooting and agreed to enter a guilty plea in the shooting of Kandi Hawkins, who was with Martez during the murder of Lonnie Vaughn. Hawkins was shot and left for dead on the 2700 block of 20th Avenue North. She survived, but was left a quadriplegic. Demarius and two cohorts, Michael Mays and Gregory Green, were charged with attempted murder. Demarius was sentenced in 2010 by Judge Tommy Nall to life in prison.
Yolanda (born c. 1963-64) was charged along with Martez for planning to murder Hawkins. In March 2010 she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and to hindering prosecution. Judge Tommy Nall sentenced her to 10 years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended on the conspiracy charge and 5 years, with all but 12 months suspended on the hindering charge. The two sentences are to be served concurrently.
- Robinson, Carol (May 14, 2009) "Martez Seay of Birmingham charged in execution-style shooting death of Lonnie Vaughn of Vestavia Hills." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (June 20, 2009) "Birmingham brothers' slaying cases burden their mother." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (August 17, 2009) "Mom burdened when three sons implicated in Birmingham murders is now charged too." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (October 23, 2009) "Seay family murder conspiracy case heads to grand jury." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (November 13, 2009) "Demarius Seay pleads guilty to felony murder in death of Birmingham teen Brandon Donkor." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (December 1, 2009) "Martez Seay linked to two additional killings." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (December 3, 2009) "Martez Seay charged with another capital murder." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (December 15, 2009) "Grand jury hands down 35 indictments in spate of shootings and killings." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (December 16, 2009) "Cell phone clue helped unravel Birmingham murder cases." Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (January 5, 2010) "East Birmingham man who allegedly hired killer in double slaying charged with capital murder." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (March 8, 2010) "Yolanda Seay of Birmingham admits guilt in mother-son murder conspiracy." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (May 13, 2010) "Martez Seay pleads guilty to killing five people in the Birmingham area." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (July 26, 2010) "Birmingham's Martez Seay withdraws guilty pleas to 5 slayings over 2 years." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (August 27, 2010) "Birmingham mother of two convicted killers sentenced for aiding third son in attempted killing." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (January 20, 2011) "Jefferson County judge declares mistrial in Martez Seay capital murder case." Birmingham News
- Velasco, Eric (February 14, 2011) "Birmingham's Martez Seay, key figure in chain of slayings, pleads guilty to one homicide." Birmingham News