Friday, January 30, 2015

Gadsden man arrested after leading deputies on chase

Scott Mckinly Meadows
A 44 year old Gadsden man was arrested Thursday after allegedly leading Etowah County Sheriffs deputies on a chase.
Scott McKinly Meadows, is facing charges in connection with an incident around 8 a.m. According to Sheriff Todd Entrekin, a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle Meadows was reportedly driving on Tabor Road. Meadows allegedly refused to pull over and proceeded to lead the deputy on a pursuit, one that ended several miles away near mile marker 203 on Interstate 59. 
During the pursuit, Meadows allegedly threw a small object out of his vehicle window. Deputies later recovered the object, which was identified as drug paraphernalia.

Meadows, who was wanted in Attalla on a failure-to-appear warrant stemming from previous traffic violations, was driving with a revoked license. He is currently being held in the Etowah County Detention Center.

Three injured in Gadsden Shootings

Gadsden police are investigating a late Wednesday that sent three people to local hospitals with gunshot wounds.
A Gadsden officer was gassing up his car at North Third Street and West Meighan Boulevard about 11:12 p.m. when he heard several gunshots. By the time other officers were routed in the direction the shots came from, dispatchers had received several calls about gunshot victims.
Arriving on the scene on Joseph T. Robinson Boulevard, officers found a 31-year-old Gadsden man sitting on the stairs next to his sister’s house holding a blood-soaked towel around his right hand. He also had cuts and blood on his head.
According to two separate police reports from two of the shooting victims, the 31-year-old and a 45-year-old friend were sitting in a car, having gone to visit the 31-year-old’s sister, when a man approached with a rifle that looked like an AK-47 and began firing at the two men. The 31-year-old told police he put up his hand to defend himself and was shot in the hand. He got out of the vehicle and ran toward his sister’s house. The shooter continued to fire at him, missing with several shots.
The 45-year-old man told police the suspect walked up to the driver’s side of the car with the weapon. The man rolled out of the vehicle, but not before being shot three times — in the right hand, the right forearm and the left thigh.
He crawled behind the car, he told police, and ran down Fourth Street about the time officers arrived on the scene.
According to the police report, two men were taken to one area hospital and a third was taken to another hospital. The two men in the vehicle together were taken to separate hospitals. Preliminary investigation led officers to suspect one of the injured men shot the other two.
Neither of the incident reports detailed injuries to the third man who apparently was shot during the confrontation. Other reports stated he is a 34-year-old Gadsden man.
The vehicle at the scene was riddled with bullet holes on the driver’s side, with the driver’s side window, back window and passenger windows broken. Officers recovered a bullet casing that appeared to be from a rifle, and a shell casing that appeared to be from a 9mm pistol.

Gadsden detectives continue to investigate the case.

Public meeting held on Jacksonville Annexation plan

A standing room only crowd filled the Jacksonville Community center Thursday evening with the  Majority of crowd came from the Whites Gap community wanting to express their opposition to the Jacksonville City Council's plan to annex their area into the city limits.
The majority of comments and questions had to do with the rural residents not having a vote on the annexation.  They also voiced displeasure with the decision being proposed by council members for whom they did not vote either.
State law will not allow the Whites Gap community to vote on annexation, due to Jacksonville's small size.
The area's state legislators, Senator Del Marsh and Representative K.L. Brown, attended the meeting.
The Jacksonville City Council will submit their annexation request to the local delegation to present for approval by the rest of the Alabama legislators.
Many of the rural property owners said they don't want to have to follow the same codes and regulations enforced on people inside city limits.
Resident Roscoe Shipman called the annexation a form of tyranny, and compared it with Russia's actions involving Crimea and Ukraine.
Senator Marsh said that was an unfair comparison.  He said the council did what it is supposed to do.
The senator said he would like to see the annexation proposal allow residential and rural property owners to opt out, or have a grandfather provision to exempt some people.
Marsh said there will be some people in that zone who want to come in, and pay city taxes to receive city services.
Opponents have more than 200 signatures on a petition to submit to Marsh and the legislature.

The council must advertise the annexation proposal in a local newspaper for four weeks before it can submit the request to the state legislature

Gadsden man pleads guilty in Anniston robbery

Brandon Hawkins
A 24 year old Gadsden man pleaded guilty Thursday in Calhoun County to robbing a gas station at gunpoint in 2011, just five days after prosecutors allege that he and another man shot to death a restaurant worker in a separate robbery.
Brandon Vontez Hawkins, pleaded guilty in Calhoun County Circuit Judge Bud Turner’s courtroom to first-degree robbery in connection with a Sept. 16, 2011, holdup at gunpoint of the HR’s Food Mart on Clydesdale Ave. in Anniston.
Anniston police have said that a fingerprint found on a pistol left at that store belonged to Hawkins, who had been arrested before.
Calhoun County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Weems said Hawkins pleaded without any plea agreement between Hawkins and prosecutors.
Weems said his sentencing on the robbery conviction will have to wait, however, until after his trial for a charge of capital murder, which is to take place in August.
Hawkins and another man, 21 year old Donquavious Russell, of Hobson City, both are charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 56 year old Barbara Exum,  on Sept. 9, 2011. Exum was the assistant manager at the Papa John’s on Snow Street in Oxford the day the pizza shop was robbed.

Both Hawkins and Russell were in the Calhoun County Jail on Thursday awaiting trials. Both men were being held without bond.

Blount County Deputy cleared in shooting

No charges will be filed against a Blount County sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a 24-year-old man in November.
A grand jury this week reviewed the deadly shooting and cleared the deputy of any wrongdoing the in the Nov. 3, 2014 death of Caleb Joseph Ryan, according to Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey. The shooting happened about 2:30 a.m. that Monday on Martin Road in Blountsville. Ryan was pronounced dead on the scene.
Sheriff Loyd Arrington has said the deputy responded to a domestic call and burglary at the Martin Road home. Ryan ran and the deputy pursued him. A fight erupted, and Ryan was shot in a nearby field.
The 30-year-old deputy was injured during the fight, and transported to Cullman Regional Medical Center. The deputy, a three-year veteran of the force, was placed on administrative leave pending the ongoing investigation but is now expected to return to duty. His name hasn't been released.

Casey said the investigation showed that the deputy used alternative methods to try to subdue Ryan prior to firing his weapon after an altercation occurred. During that time, Ryan was choking the officer to the point he was about to pass out and was attempt to gouge out the deputy's right eye.

Anniston crime rate decreases

Anniston city officials credit new ideas and new leadership for a decrease in the city's crime rate.
Uniform Crime Report statistics from the FBI say the cit
y's crime rate is down eight and a half percent, and down for the second year in a row.
City officials credit new ideas, such as more patrols in higher crime areas, open communication through the department's Facebook page, and helping federal authorities to shut down a major drug operation in South Anniston, among other things.
Anniston's crime rate is down six percent in a number of Part One offense categories, including murder, sexual assault, assault and robbery.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Judge sets bond for anniston restaurant owner with restrictions

David Mogil

A judge on Wednesday set the conditions for a release on bond for an Anniston restaurant owner, jailed since November in connection with a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
David Mogil, owner of Damn Yankees restaurants in Anniston and Heflin, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. Prosecutors allege Mogil beat his girlfriend’s dog, Coco, with a hose, and that the dog later fell or jumped from a second-story patio at his home atop the Damn Yankees building on Noble Street in Anniston.
Chambers County Circuit Judge Steven Perryman, in his order Wednesday, states that there is insufficient evidence that the dog had been beaten with a hose, and that neither the officer who responded nor a veterinarian who treated the dog told the court they saw injuries consistent with torture.
Perryman wrote that “the court must be convinced that probable cause exists that a new offense has been committed.” Perryman’s ruling states that he finds no such probable cause to hold Mogil without bond.
Additionally, Perryman writes that no one witnessed Mogil “actually strike the dog with the hose,” Mogil did not push or throw the dog off the balcony and there was no physical evidence on the hose that it had been used to beat the dog.
Perryman’s ruling comes with stipulations, however. Mogil must complete anger management counseling and be confined to his home and work-related locations.
Mogil’s bond was set at $7,500 on the aggravated cruelty to animal charge. Bond on Mogil’s 2013 second-degree assault charge was set at $10,000.