List of homicides in 2005

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This is a List of homicides in 2005, including all deaths so ruled in the Birmingham District.

Note that a "homicide" refers to the cause of death as determined by a medical examiner, not to the crime of murder as charged by prosecutors and determined by plea or trial.

Cullman County

  • November: Gerald Freund, 43, was kidnapped in Birmingham and shot to death by Michael Keith Winchester on hunting land Winchester owned in Cullman County. The murder was part of a plot to frame Freund for Winchester's theft of $48,000 from the BP station where they both worked. After a Cullman County Grand Jury declined to enter an indictment, Jefferson County officials, granted equal jurisdiction because parts of the conspiracy to commit murder took place in Birmingham, prosecuted WInchester and secured a conviction in February 2010. In April of that year he was sentenced to life in prison. (story)

Jefferson County


5 homicides:

  • March 4: Joseph Jones, 75, was found dead in his blue Cadillac on the 3200 block of 7th Avenue North. No arrest. A $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction has been offered by the Governor's office. (report)
  • May: Willie Burrough, 18, was found dead from gunshot inside apartment on 400 block of 34th Street South. Martez Sanders sanders pleaded guilty on September 10, 2007 and was sentenced to 20 years. [1]
  • August 5: Eric "Candy Man" Cheatham, 22, was gunned down in his grandmother's home. His brother, Gregory Cheatham, 18,was charged with murder, but charges were later dismissed.


  • 105 homicides (list)

Unincorporated Jefferson County

  • May: The burned body of Camella July, 22, of Center Point was found near Slope Drive in the Mulga area. Reginald Davis was convicted in 2007 of intentional murder and sentenced to life. [2]
  • Tyler Vaughan, 20, stabbed to death at a hangout spot near the Warrior River. Brandon McCombs was charged with murder, but convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years. That conviction was reversed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals after McCombs' lawyer, Buddy Armstrong was indicted for perjury, having admitted that he advised McCombs to falsify testimony. The case will be re-tried. [3]
  • December 28: Rochine Thomas, 14, was killed in a drive-by shooting on 7th Street in Docena. Stephano Marcell Parker, then 16, pleaded guilty in 2006 to felony murder and was sentenced to 20 years with all but four suspended. Diontez Jamel Moore, 19 at the time, also pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to 20 years with all but five suspended. [4]



  • October 6: Tyler Carter, 19, found shot with another victim in a car parked outside the home of John Ashley. Ashley and his girlfriend Carley Taylor were charged. Taylor was convicted of felony murder. Ashley was charged with three counts of capital murder. Two were dismissed during trial, but he was convicted on the third count. Taylor was sentenced to 20 years, all but five of which were suspended. Ashley was sentenced to life without parole. [6]
  • October 6: Alexander Lee, 18, the second victim in the shooting of Tyler Carter (above)

Lee County

Shelby County

  • October 26: Janet Lorita Tillman, 40, was killed by a shotgun blast to her back at her home in Vincent. Her husband, Timothy Tillman, pastor of the Revival Center, claimed that a shotgun he was cleaning accidentally went off. He was arrested and charged with murder in 2007 after evidence of an affair surfaced, providing a motive. He was convicted on October 23, 2009 and sentenced to life in prison. A new trial was granted on appeal, resulting in another murder conviction on June 22, 2012. (report)

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