The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole Wednesday to 17 violent offenders, including seven murderers and two sex offenders.
PAROLE DENIED: Lameco Dechawn Turner is serving a life sentence for a 2004 murder in Houston County. He has served a total of 15 years, eight months of the life sentence. Turner was originally convicted in 2010 of capital murder and sentenced to death in the murder and robbery at Petro Southeast Mini-Mart in Dothan on April 20, 2004. Turner pointed a gun at the victim and the victim said “no, no, no, no,” but Turner shot him to death, court records show. The death sentence was overturned by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Turner was re-tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2018. Houston County District Attorney Pat Jones attended Wednesday’s hearing to oppose parole for Turner on behalf of the victim’s family. “What he did was a horrible situation,” Jones said. Parole also was opposed by the attorney general’s office.
PAROLE DENIED: Richard David Kidd is serving a life sentence for a 1994 murder in Cleburne County. He has served 25 years, six months of the sentence. The brother of the victim attended the hearing to oppose parole for his brother’s killer. In a letter, the brother wrote that Kidd was on probation when he committed the crime and later “bragged about cutting my brother’s throat.” VOCAL testified that Kidd “slit the victim’s throat from ear to ear and drove off in his car.” The attorney general’s office called it a “very gruesome crime.” Kidd also was convicted in 1992 of receiving stolen property.
PAROLE DENIED: Charles Howard Baker Jr. was sentenced in 2001 to 33 years in prison for murder in Tallapoosa County. He has served less than 20 years of the prison term.
PAROLE DENIED: James Anthony Ball was sentenced in 2005 to life in prison for a 1999 murder in Conecuh County. He has served less than 21 years of the life sentence. The Brewton Standard reported Ball was working at a Castleberry grocery store when he shot a woman “and walked away without a word.” Another employee of the store testified that Ball then turned the shotgun on her, but she “ducked behind the counter to hide,” the newspaper said. The paper reported that authorities said, “Ball had an argument with his girlfriend and was going to get a gun and shoot the first person he saw.” The victim’s sister testified against parole for Ball, saying “It’s hard each and every day. He (Ball) knew what he was doing.” The attorney general’s office called the crime a “cold blooded killing, brutal and unnecessary.” Parole was also opposed by the VOCAL (Victims of Crime and Leniency) organization.
PAROLE DENIED: Diakist C. Johnson was sentenced in 1999 to life in prison for murder in Pike County. He has served 22 years of the life sentence. Johnson was the driver in a drive-by shooting that killed a 19-year-old man on July 30, 1997. The sister of the murder victim testified against parole for Johnson, saying “he was taken away from us way too young.” The victim’s mother said she talks to her son’s picture every night before she goes to bed and that she doesn’t think Johnson serving 22 years of a life sentence for murdering her son “is enough for my pain and suffering.” Parole also was opposed by the attorney general’s office, the district attorney’s office and VOCAL.
PAROLE DENIED: Ernest Lee McCastle is serving a life sentence for a 1991 murder in Crenshaw County. He has served 29 years of the life sentence. The victim’s son testified that McCastle murdered his mother when she was 83 years old after she had paid him to do handyman work. VOCAL opposed the parole as did the attorney general’s office, which said McCastle “preyed on one of the most vulnerable in our society.”
PAROLE DENIED: Antoijuan Battle was sentenced in 2001 to life in prison for a murder in Bessemer, Jefferson County. The attorney general’s office and VOCAL opposed parole for Battle.
PAROLE DENIED: Anthony Lee Elliott is a rapist who has been convicted of eight crimes, all in Tuscaloosa County. Elliott is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence, handed down in 2008, for first-degree assault. He has served about half the 30-year sentence. His victim attended Wednesday’s parole hearing and urged the board to deny his parole. “He almost took my life,” the tearful victim testified. “I can close my eyes and relive the whole situation over and over again.” VOCAL testified that Elliott stabbed the victim multiple times. The attorney general’s office called it a “very violent offense.” Elliott was sentenced in 1995 to four years for second-degree rape, but he was paroled after serving less than two years. In 1998, two years after he was paroled from the rape sentence, he was sent back to prison for two years for three convictions for distribution of a controlled substance and one conviction for possession of drugs. In 2001 he was sent back to prison again on a 15-year sentence for the 1998 drug distribution convictions.
PAROLE DENIED: Carlos Jerome Hendrix is a convicted sex offender in Jackson County who is serving time for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery in Etowah County. Hendrix was sentenced to five years in 2001 for a 1997 conviction for enticing a child for immoral purposes, and received a one-year, six-month sentence for violating the sex offender registration law, both in Jackson County. Public records show he enticed an 11-year-old girl for immoral purposes. A year later, Hendrix was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery in Etowah County and drug possession in Jackson County and sentenced to five years and three years, respectively. In 2006 his sentence for the robbery conspiracy conviction was extended to 20 years, to run concurrently with an extended 15-year sentence for the 2002 drug possession conviction. Hendrix has served 17 years of the 20-year sentence. His criminal career began with prison sentences in 1996 for drug possession and theft in Jackson County.
PAROLE DENIED: Christopher C. Caldwell was sentenced in 2017 to 10 years in prison for a 2011 second-degree assault in Pike County. He has served two years, seven months of that 10-year prison term. The Dothan Eagle reported May 28, 2015 that Caldwell was convicted for shooting a man in the chest in Troy. Caldwell was first convicted in 2009 of three drug possession charges in Pike and Crenshaw counties, and criminal possession of a forged instrument in Crenshaw County. The district attorney’s office called it a “senseless shooting,” and the attorney general’s office noted that Caldwell has committed violent disciplinary infractions in prison.
PAROLE DENIED: Hondalee Diana Chalkley is serving two life sentences for 2009 drug distribution convictions and 15 years for a 2010 conviction for second-degree assault, all in Talladega County. She has served 10 years, nine months of the two life sentences. Chalkley was first convicted of third-degree burglary in 2001 and sentenced to two years. The Sylacauga police chief opposed parole.
PAROLE DENIED: Jovar Gamble was sentenced in 2008 to 15 years in prison for first-degree burglary in Talladega County. He has served just over 12 years of the sentence. Testimony Wednesday showed he hit the victim in the head with a firearm during the burglary. The attorney general’s office reported that Gamble committed a sexual assault in prison, and the victim had to have surgery to remove a broomstick from his rectum.
PAROLE DENIED: Brandon Ledell Hughley is a probation violator serving time for third-degree burglary in Lee County. He was first convicted of theft of property in 2014 and sentenced to two years. WSFA TV reported July 3, 2013 that Hughley was one of four suspects in a theft from an Opelika home. Neighbors spotted occupants of a vehicle throwing items, including a flat screen television, from the vehicle as it traveled down the road, the TV station reported. Authorities said the vehicle eventually wrecked and Hughley and the other suspects fled on foot. In 2017 Hughley violated the terms of his probation and was sent back to confinement for 45 days. In March 2019 he was sentenced to eight years in prison for a 2017 burglary in Lee County. Hughley has served two years, seven months of the eight-year prison term.
PAROLE DENIED: Jessica Lynn Payne was sentenced on Oct. 18, 2018 to six years, three months for first-degree assault in Elmore County. She has served one year, five months of that term. Testimony at the hearing showed Payne was under the influence of a substance when she crashed her car, killing a passenger. The attorney general’s office opposed parole.
PAROLE DENIED: Justin Dewayne Robinson was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison for third-degree burglary, unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle and being a violent criminal in possession of a pistol, all in Madison County. He has served two years, two months of the prison sentence. The attorney general’s office opposed parole.
PAROLE DENIED: Carl Walker has been convicted of 22 crimes in the past 13 years, including 12 burglaries, in Calhoun and Chambers counties. He has served less than two years of three seven-year prison sentences handed down in January 2019 for two burglaries and unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle in Calhoun County. The attorney general’s office reported that Walker committed prison disciplinary infractions as recently as May and September 2019. In 2014 Walker went on a crime spree in Chambers County and was convicted of seven burglaries, three thefts, two cases of breaking and entering, and escape, and was sentenced to seven years. In 2006 he was convicted of three burglaries and two cases of breaking and entering in Chambers County and was sentenced to 10 years. The next year he was convicted of theft of property and given another sentence of one year, six months.
PAROLE DENIED: Jason Wesley Williams is serving a 25-year prison sentence after committing six burglaries across three north Alabama counties. He has served less than 15 years of the 25-year sentence. Between 2006 and 2008, Wesley was convicted of three burglaries in Morgan County, two in Lauderdale County and one in Colbert County, and was also convicted of an attempted burglary in Morgan County. In prison in Montgomery County in 2011, he was convicted of promoting prison contraband. The attorney general’s office said Williams had a long prison disciplinary infractions rap sheet, including six violations in 2019 alone..
The board also denied parole to Melissa Whit Deese, who is serving time for receiving stolen property and drug convictions.