List of homicides in 1997
This is a List of homicides in 1997, including all cases investigated in the Birmingham District.
This list is incomplete and may never satisfy any subjective standard for completeness. You can help Bhamwiki by.
- January 26: Floyd Roger Hurst, 43, went missing on the way to a Super Bowl party in Oxford. His van was later found abandoned at the Georgia visitors' center on I-20. Long-time suspect Jack David Stovall, by then serving time in a murder-for-hire case, was charged in 2014 with Hurst's murder. Stovall apparently believed Hurst had been involved in a robbery at his house. The coronor recorded the cause of death as "total body traumatic fragmentation". (report)
- December 14: Arthur Holifield, 18, was shot to death during a mid-afternoon argument over stolen CDs in the parking lot of a store on Dartmouth Avenue. Bullets from two guns hit him from behind. Brothers Christopher and Tavares Brown were charged with murder. Christopher was convicted in January 2002 and sentenced to life in prison. Tavares was initially convicted and sentenced to life, but an appeals court granted a new trial. The jury deadlocked in the second trial, and he pleaded "best interest" in June 2003 and was sentenced to 20 years, with a minimum of 5 to serve (including time already served). He was released, but returned to prison after violating his probation. In 2009 the principal witness recanted his testimony. Judge Teresa Petelos set their convictions aside and set bond of $10,000 pending renewed prosecution of the charges. (report)
- 108 homicides (list)
Unincorporated Jefferson County
- October 3: Music minister Brian Tribble, 36, surprised a burglar at Centercrest Baptist Church in Center Point and was shot twice in the head and neck. Milton Dudley pleaded guilty to the murder and is serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole at the Draper Correctional Center in Elmore County. (report)
- Randy Duke, 39, was killed along with his fiancee, Dedra Hunt, and her two daughters at their home on Chandawood Drive in Pelham. His son, Mark Anthony Duke, and three accomplices; Michael Brandon Samra, Michael Lafayette Ellison and David Layne Collums; were all charged with murder. According to trial testimony, Duke shot his father and Hunt, then slit one girl's throat and held the other girl down while Samra slit hers. Duke and Samra were sentenced to death. Duke's sentence was commuted to life without parole based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sentencing minors. Samra's sentence was upheld by the State Supreme Court but has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ellison and Collums, who waited outside, were also convicted. They have since been released. (report)
- Dedra Mims Hunt, 29, was killed along with her fiance and her two daughters at their home in Pelham.
- Chelsea Duke, 7, was killed along with her mother and sister at their home in Pelham.
- Chelisa Duke, 6, was killed along with her mother and sister at their home in Pelham.