List of homicides in 2008

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This is a List of homicides in 2008, including homicide cases reported throughout the Birmingham District. At least 147 homicides were reported in the area during 2008. Of those, 113 cases in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area were reported to the FBI as murders, resulting in a rate of 10.1 murders per 100,000 population, the 19th highest among US metro areas.

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.

Calhoun County

  1. February 17: Jerry Lewis Turner, 54, was killed on the 300 block of K Street in Anniston. (report)
  2. November: Sean Adam Cook, 27, was shot and killed at the Express Mart No. 11 in Oxford. Jesse Earl Scheuing of Waycross, Georgia, Tifani Lei Kulp of Anniston and James Merrill Potts of Weaver were each charged with capital murder. Scheuing also faces an attempted murder charge from a stabbing in the Calhoun County Jail. (report)

Jefferson County (126 total)


  1. June 12: Mary Moore, 90, died of malnutrition and infection after being taken from her home to Princeton Baptist Medical Center. Her death was ruled a homicide by neglect by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Her daughter, Patricia Ford, was arrested and charged with manslaughter in January 2009. [1]


  1. March 1: Kimberly Minter, 40, was shot in the bedroom of a house on the 2000 block of Granville Avenue by a relative. [2]
  2. March 15: Antonio Cottrell, 26, shot in a struggle with Roderick Dewayne Dunklin at 202 Ball Avenue in Muscoda. Dunklin turned himself in and was charged with murder. [3]
  3. March 31: Angel Hester, 4, killed in a one-car accident near the interesection of Powder Plant Road and Johns Road. Her father, Charles Hester, Jr, has been charged with reckless murder. She was not in a child safety seat and authorities believe Hester to have been driving under the influence. He had been previously cited for DUI and improper child restraint. [4]
  4. June 22: Alberto Perez, 34, shot and killed during a shootout at the Las Diaz nightclub at 3430 9th Avenue North. Ceslo Armento Cano has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [5]
  5. June 22: Unnamed male shot and killed during a shootout at the Las Diaz nightclub at 3430 9th Avenue North. Ceslo Armento Cano has been arrested and charged with capital murder. [6]
  6. July 7: Sebastian "Chick" Allen, 69, was found dead in his home on the 400 block of Memorial Drive. Chris Jones, a friend of Allen's, was arrested on July 26 and implicated himself in a sworn statement. [7]
  7. July 26: Andra Johnson, 47, shot in the back of the head while he and two friends were "goofing around" with a gun while driving on Westlake Road at Lakeridge Drive. Asher Bole has been arrested and charged with reckless murder. [8]
  8. September 23: Jose Juan Garcia-Huerta, 24, found dead outside a mobile home park on Bessemer Superhighway. No arrest. [9]
  9. December 6: Johnathan Devon Woods, 29, shot in a domestic situation on the 2200 block of Granville Avenue. Curlie Thomas was taken into custody at the scene and later charged with murder. [10]
  10. December 12: The body of Walter Moore, Jr was found near Duster Lane and McWaine Drive in the Rock Mountain Lakes area. His car had been found earlier with a shattered window and significant blood inside. Two people were arrested and charged. [11]
  11. December 17: James Anthony Lee, 45, known as the "Can man", was shot to death while he slept in his home near the intersection of Main Street and Chestnut Avenue. Dozens of shell casings were recovered outside the house, where a stop sign was also damaged. No arrest. A reward of $5,000 has been offered by the Governor's office. (report)


  • 88 homicides (list)


  1. March 1: Sergio Romero Cuevas, 28, died at UAB Hospital after being shot in a gunfight that began with an armed robbery attempt at the Holiday Mobile Home Park on the 4300 block of Bessemer Road. (map). At least one suspect is in custody. [12]

Center Point

  1. January 10: Norber Lea Payne, 40, was shot to death in her home at 27 25th Court Northwest. Her cousin and former boyfriend, Jeffery Tyrone Riggs, surrendered to investigators and the murder weapon, a .50 caliber handgun, was recovered from his parents' home. He was convicted and sentenced to death in June 2010. In May 2013 his conviction was overturned by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. He was convicted at retrial before Judge Clyde Jones in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison. The Appeals court upheld that conviction in April 2018. (report)
  2. June 29: Luis Dagoberto Hernandez Lopez, 40, was found dead from blunt-force head trauma in the grass outside an apartment building on the 1800 block of Amberwood Drive. Kordarius Beasley, 18, was arrested and charged with murder. (report)


  1. January 7: Damion Sherrod, 25, shot on the 6800 block of Terrace Court following an argument in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Aaron Aronov Drive. Harrell Hammel Jr has been apprehended and charged with murder. [13]
  2. July 4: Michael Kemp, 40, shot in an apparent domestic dispute on the 6400 block of Avenue E. A suspect is in custody, but charges have not yet been filed. [14]
  3. October 13: Alvin Beck, 28, shot in his car on the 800 block of Valley Road. No arrest. [15]


  1. April 13: Rufina Granados Gutierrez, 25, found shot to death in a parking lot at 835 Odom Road. The circumstances of her murder are believed to have been a domestic dispute. Hedilberto "Eddie" Rodriguez is being sought on suspicion of murder. His abandoned pickup truck was recovered in Bradenton, Florida on May 18. [16]


  1. July 6: Michael Curtis Robinson, 24, found dead in his grandparents' driveway on the 300 block of 15th Avenue Southeast. The death is thought to have resulted from a domestic dispute. Robinson's half-brother Jonathan Melcher is accused of running him over with his Ford Explorer after arranging to fight him behind a store. He was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and to violating the terms of his probation for a 2006 guilty plea of sodomy with a minor, a 7-year-old girl. He was sentenced to two 15-year prison terms, to be served concurrently. [17]


  1. March 22: Karim El-Amin, 25, found dead in his residence at the Aspen Trace Apartments. His roommate, Marelo Devorria Harris, was arrested and charged with capital murder. Judge Laura Petro reduced the charge to intentional murder during trial. He was found not guilty in November 2012. (report)
  2. April 4: Matthew David McLain, 23, found shot at Regent's Walk Apartments on Raleigh Avenue. No arrest. (report)
  3. November 3: Nadia Kersh, 23, was reported missing, last seen at work at Tria Market. After more than a year of investigation, the Jefferson County District Attorney charged a suspect with capital murder. The charge was dismissed by Judge Clyde Jones in August 2011. (report)
  4. November 9: James Carter Zwack, 16, a student at Homewood High School, was killed in a vehicle crash on South Lakeshore Drive. John Philip Stewart, driver of the other car, was charged with murder after his blood alcohol level was found to have been more than three times the legal limit. (report)


  1. traffic fatality classified as homicide
  2. October 14: Doris Jean Bennett, 52, was shot while walking her dog at The Grand at Galleria apartments off Lorna Road. Brandon Solomon Foster was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole. Darryle Lamont Shields pleaded guilty to felony murder and testified against Foster. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. [18]
  3. December 26: David Alan Oliver, 49, a Bessemer firefighter, was found dead from a gunshot wound at his Waterford Place condominium. His roommate, Randall C. Johnson, was arrested as a suspect the next day in Leake County, Mississippi. He was charged with intentional murder. [19]


  1. September 18: Sheila Renee Howard, 39, was found shot inside a house at 405 Carver Avenue following a police standoff. After police stormed the house, Fuzell Morton III, 25, was found dead inside along with Howard's daughter, Jymishia, who was critically injured. Morton is believed to have shot the two women and to have killed himself afterwards. Police recovered multiple guns at the house. [20]


  1. May 8: Sergio Scott, 15, was shot four times on the 8100 block of Douglas Avenue in the Cedar Grove Apartments just after midnight. Investigators concluded that Scott was killed by Kevin Connell, whom he and two others were attempting to rob. Connell himself was killed soon afterwards. Scott's accomplices, Arriyan McDaniel and Zemiel Crawford, have been charged with armed robbery. [21]
  2. May 8: Kevin Connell, 43, was shot to death shortly after he killed a would-be robber, Sergio Scott, on the 8100 block of Douglas Avenue in the Cedar Grove Apartments just after midnight. Floyd Wesley Thomas and his girlfriend, Unique Huthinson, were arrested and charged with intentional murder. Investigators testified that Thomas admitted the killing to others, claiming at least once that he acted to defend Scott. Hutchinson is believed to have urged him repeatedly to kill Connell in the aftermath of Scott's shooting. [22]


  1. October 4: Jose Luis Gonzales, 20, was shot on Parkwood Street and died later at UAB Medical West. No arrest. [23]


  1. May 25: Timothy Wayne Terrell, 30, was shot on the deck of a home on the 5100 block of Pinson Valley Parkway near the Mimosa Trailer Park. A neighbor, Enrique Vera, is believed to have shot him in a dispute over money. He has been charged with murder, but remains at large. [24]

Pleasant Grove

  1. October 13: Marquis Ledelle Strange, 18, was shot and killed while attempting to rob an off-duty Birmingham police officer in his relative's driveway on Newberry Drive in the Ridgeway Acres subdivision. [25]


  1. May 24: Nicholas Lopez was shot during a robbery at Presbyterian Manor Apartments on Overton Avenue. Robert Nunn, Omar Sharif Toney, Brandon Eugene Taylor and Lorenzo Jackson II have each been arrested and charged with capital murder. Jackson, the shooter, pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Toney and Tyalor pleaded to intentional murder and Nunn pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter. The three were each sentenced to 20-years, all but 5 of which were suspended. [26]
  2. August 9: Michael Self was beaten to death with a tree limb. Patric Suggs, a convicted robber, was charged with murder. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in October 2009. [27]


  1. August 16: Steven Milton Blanks, 49, shot at the home of Tommy Joe Tyler at 1921 Gurley Lane near Locust Fork. Tyler's estranged wife, Jenifer, was also injured. Tyler told police the two had broken into his house. Investigators determined that Tyler had lured them into an ambush. He was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. [28]

Unincorporated Jefferson County

  1. January 20: Theopolis Mack, 53, died at UAB Hopsital from a gunshot wound he suffered the previous evening. He was shot by an acquaintance who robbed him after buying drugs at an apartment on the 1900 block of Bond Circle Northeast. Dmitri Lamar Washington was charged with capital murder and surrendered to authorities in Clarksville, Tennessee on January 22. [29]
  2. February 25: Seyamone Seneray Bester, 33, was found dead following a house fire on the 200 block of New Avenue in Muscoda. Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide after discovering gunshot wounds. [30]
  3. March 2: Eric Moore, 23, died from injuries sustained while he was attempting a home invasion on the 900 block of Apple Street just off U.S. Highway 78. The shooter may have been targeted because he broke up a fight Moore had been involved in at the Platinum Club the night before. (map). The shooter's identity has not been released and the homicide is likely to be ruled justified. [31]
  4. March 29: Sherry Faught McCombs, 44, a nurse at St Vincent's Hospital, was found beaten to death in her home on the 1200 block of Arkadelphia Road near Corner. Her son, Preston McCombs, was arrested and charged with capital murder on May 5. He was found not guilty on May 13. [32]
  5. May 31: Tosha Dejarnette, 28, shot on the 1300 block of 5th Place Northwest in eastern Jefferson County. Thomas Baker, the victim's ex-boyfriend, was arrested that night and charged with murder. He claims he fired toward the house in self-defense after a brick was thrown at him. [33]
  6. August 27: June Yates was found dead alongside her husband, Joseph Yates, inside their home on the 3900 block of Archer Road in the Mineral Springs community after a fire. Both had been shot, and a handgun was found next to Mr Yates' body, leading investigators to suspect a murder-suicide. [34]
  7. October 28: Karen McCollum, 35, was found bludgeoned to death in her home at 4716 Wine Ridge Lane in the Wine Ridge subdivision near Heatherwood. Jefferson County detectives have a suspect, believed to be her husband, but have not collected enough evidence to make an arrest. (report)

Lee County

  • Lauren A. Burk, 18, an Auburn University freshman, was abducted from her car in the parking lot of Hinton Field in an attempted robbery and rape. She was then shot once and left for dead along Alabama State Highway 147. Courtney Larrell Lockhart confessed to killing her and has been charged with capital murder and other crimes.

Shelby County (11 total)


  • October 6: Bobby Lee Bray, 28, of Brent, was stabbed during a fight with Angela Yvonne Allen in a parking lot at 4570 U. S. Highway 31. Allen was convicted of murder in 2011. (report)


  • July 27: Maria Garcia, 32, was found shot to death in a car on Stonehaven Trail just north of Buck Creek. A $5,000 reward for information has been offered by the Governor's office. [35]
  • September 3: Sherlin "Mike" Vuaghn, 58, died from wounds received during an altercation on July 29 at the construction site for the ALDI store on Pelham Parkway, where he was serving as foreman. James Darrell Johnson, who had worked at the site, was convicted of murder and sentenced by Judge Dan Reeves to 45 years in prison. (report)

Unincorporated Shelby County

  1. June 16: Katherine Helen Gillespie, 11, was found shot to death in her home on Kerry Downs Road. Ryan Gerald Russell, a relative who also lived in the house, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. (report)
  2. August 20: Jaime Echeverria, 30, one of five men found with their throats slashed in a gruesome execution in a unit of Cahaba Lakes Apartments in the 3000 block of Buck Horn Cove (map). Rewards totalling $30,000 have been offered for information leading to convictions in the case. It is believed the five were targeted because they were responsible for $450,000 in money missed by an illegal drug gang. Alejandros Castaneda, Juan Fransisco Castaneda, Jaime Duenas-Rodriguez and Christopher Scott Jones were arrested on August 25 and each was indicted on charges of capital murder of two or more victims and capital murder for hire. Derrick Renone Green was charged after he was extradited from Nashville. Torre Jovan Gholston was arrested and charged in February 2009. He pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and received a 15-year sentence. The Castaneda brothers and Jones pleaded guilty before trial. Juan Castaneda was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences and Jones to two concurrent 25-year sentences. (report)
  3. August 20: Gustavo Vega-Gonzalez (also called Armando Lopez) 24, another of the five men found at Cahaba Lakes Apartments.
  4. August 20: Angel Horacio Vega-Gonzalez, 23, another of the five men found at Cahaba Lakes Apartments.
  5. August 20: Ezequiel Rebollar-Terevan, 23, another of the five men found at Cahaba Lakes Apartments.
  6. August 20: Armando Ibarra Mendoza, 31, another of the five men found at Cahaba Lakes Apartments.

St Clair County


  • November 18: Emily Lynn Milling, 23, was found strangled to death in a wooded area off Markeeta Road. She was last seen leaving the Central Club lounge early Saturday morning. Suspect Michael Brandon Kelly was arrested a day later in Pico Rivera, California by U. S. Marshals. He was charged with murder and sexual torture. He was convicted in September 2010. (report)


  • July 31: John Calvin Durden, 69, died of multiple stab wounds after he and his wife, Eva, were attacked at their home on Valley Bend Road. Jordan Tyler Durden, the couples' grandson, was identified by Mrs Durden as the attacker. He was arrested the following evening in Panama City, Florida after a vacationing Moody resident sighted the van he took. (report)

Tuscaloosa County

  1. April 2: Penny Hyche was shot to death in Tuscaloosa after arguing with her husband in their car and later struggling with him over a handgun. Alton Hyche was charged in 2012 with murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. He was acquitted on all charges in January 2015. (report)
  2. April 12: Yvenna "Toni" Gilbert, 69, was beaten to death with a rock during a robbery at her home in Gilbertown. Brothers Timothy and Phillip Garrison were charged with capital murder. Timothy pleaded guilty in 2011. (report)
  3. December --: Jeanie Scott, 21, died after being given a narcotic pain patch while she was intoxicated. James Edward Hurn Jr has been charged with murder and manslaughter. (report)

Walker County

  1. December 21: Antoine J. Bennett, 23, found shot to death on the 1400 block of 21st Street West in Jasper. Douglas Eugene Harris, Jr, was charged with murder and turned himself in to police on January 3, 2009. [36]
  2. September 14: Michael Alan Dean, 38, was found shot in the chest at his home in Empire and pronounced dead at Walker Baptist Medical Center. His ex-brother-in-law Chris Dewayne Williams, Sr, suspected of shooting him in an argument over a PlayStation Portable videogame, was arrested near Bowling Green, Kentucky on October 4. [37]


  • Robinson, Carol (January 1, 2009) "Murders in Jefferson County, Alabama down 2 years in row." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (September 15, 2009) "Mobile 7th, Birmingham 19th in nation in 2008 murder rate." Birmingham News