BLOGGER COMMENTS: Readers of the Blog know this story well. We know that this murder need not have happened, except for the local justice system, and especially a certain local judge who is running UNOPPOSED for reelection this fall, that refused to grant a restraining order to keep him away from Kay Letson Stevens. You remember the rest of the story where our brave and resourceful, sheriff, armed with only a bottle of whiskey, defied the law enforcement officials who had ACTUAL JURISDICTION of the situation, served shots to this known alcoholic, and enticed him to join her in an unaccompanied ride to the jail with a pit stop at his 'daddy's). How sweet. How unprofessional.
Roger Dale Stevens, charged with capital murder in the 2015 shooting and beating death of his ex-wife, is “more at peace now than (I) ever was,” he said in a recent psychological evaluation that concluded he is competent to stand trial
Stevens, now 68, is charged with capital murder in the shooting and beating death of Kay Letson Stevens on Nov. 14, 2015, two days after their divorce was finalized. He allegedly chased her into the Corner Bakery and Eatery, which she co-owned, shot her, and beat her head against a concrete curb.
The report from the court-ordered mental evaluation, conducted by forensic psychologist Steve Rubenzer, was filed in the Morgan County Circuit Court this week.
Rubenzer reported that he inquired as to Stevens’ mood during the evaluation.
“Fine,” Stevens responded, according to the report. “I’ve come to terms with my fate — things don’t agitate me like they used to.”
Rubenzer wrote that Stevens reported no thoughts of suicide, although he noted that two days after the shooting, he “told staff he would be better off dead.”
Up until his arrest, Stevens told the psychologist, he had no periods of sobriety “since very young” and he drank a half pint to a pint of whiskey daily, despite requests by his wife and daughter that he cut down on his consumption. He said he was working 16 hours per day as a truck driver before his arrest.
He identified the worst thing that ever happened to him in his life as his current situation
MORE BLOGGER COMMENTS: That's the worse thing that ever happened to you in your life? Just wait until you are a guest to one of the most overcrowded, gang-run, and violent prison systems in America. And give a thought to the worst thing that happened to Kay Letson Stevens was the day you killed her
BLOGGER COMMENTS: Wow! Possible 99 years. Just amazing. I think it was defrauding the little old lady that done it. Funny that Steven Ziaja (remember him?), Steenson's partner-in-crime got off with not a slap on the wrist but a pat on his cheeks. As an inmate-with-privileges at the Cullman County lockup, he continued his life and business outside the walls without even an ankle bracelet.
Of course, Steenson is a career criminal and Ziaja a mere crooked cop I guess that makes the difference or maybe it's who you used to sleep with.
Former Decatur car dealer could face life in prison for defrauding victims
A Morgan County jury decided there were factors that made the charges in his guilty plea even worse Here's the link:
DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - A Morgan County jury decided a former Decatur car dealership owner deserves a harsher sentence.
Gregory Ray Steenson, 50, may face life in prison now.
A Morgan County jury decided there were factors that made the charges in his guilty plea even worse.
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson says Steenson defrauded victims out of more than $134,000.
Anderson says the jury found four aggravating factors stemming from “Steenson’s fraudulent business practices in his role as an owner and operator of Performance Auto Sales on Point Mallard Parkway.”
Steenson pleaded guilty to first-degree and second-degree theft and possession of a forged instrument.
Anderson says the jury’s finding of aggravating factors means Steenson can receive a sentence higher than those set forth in the Alabama Sentencing Guidelines.Steenson could face a maximum sentence of 99 years or life.
A book of course. The whistleblower has been busy for the past few months healing from a broken ankle. That doesn't mean the wheels haven't been turning. There is a lot to write about and things the public has a right to know. One thing is for sure a lot of people that were trusted lied their asses off about their involvement in the schenes and got away with it.
We have a lot to say about some of these folks who tried but failed to destroy Morgan County's good name. It may appear to some that there was no justice here but we don't believe that. The real justice is the fact that it is going to be a long time before anybody forgets the names of those involved or their part in the saga.
A lot of folks believe that if they had been a regular criminal such as Steenson, for example, they would have gotten a lot more time. That may be true but people are going to forget about Steenson long before they forget about criminal law enforcement officers or sheriffs.
We should be thanking those who took actions to remove the corrupt from public office and those who worked at the SO who put the interest of their Oath of Office before their loyalty to a corrupt sheriff.
Wow! This story is a must-read for sure. Steenson pleaded guilty to two felonies and instead of going to prison he will continue to reside in the Morgan County Jail. Maybe due to overcrowding within the prison system. Or, maybe it's because of Steenson in facing additional charges. Steenson deserves his punishment and so do the other liars and thieves involved. The true victims, in this case, are the honest investors who may never see a dime of the hard-earned money they invested. I became good friends with some of the "real" investors and I can tell you they were screwed by Title Mart. Yet, daily I see their kindness and honesty.
While Warden Leon Bradley is celebrating the expungement of his charge brought on by our previous sheriff the sheriff is performing community service for her bad deeds. What could be better? Congratulations Leon for a job well done. You fought the corrupt law and you won...
It's been a while since my last post. Lots of things are going on. I have been sporting a broken foot for three months that still hasn't healed. On the other hand, lots of positive things are happening. Our beach house repairs have really come together. We are almost finished with the repairs caused by Hurrican Michael.
The blog doesn't seem as important since we have gotten rid of some of the rot that was like cancer. Hopefully, that will never happen again.
Three years, five months and ten days. A long time.
That’s how long it has been since former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard – the man we used to call the most powerful politician in Alabama and the guy who’s still treated like it -- was sentenced to four years in prison for 12 felony violations of the state ethics laws.
A lot has happened since July 8, 2016.
Some 30 million acres of land in the U.S. has gone up in flames in wildfires. Poof. That’s almost as big as the whole state of Mississippi.
Donald Trump was elected president. And Hillary Clinton wasn’t. A lot has happened. And a lot hasn’t.
Some folks, like one I see in the mirror every day, think Alabama’s high court is simply searching for a way to spin it to make setting him free sound like justice instead of preferential treatment. Because time drags on. And a lot has happened.
Sixty-five people across America were put to death for their crimes. Tom Brady has thrown for 7.1 miles since Mike Hubbard was sentenced. Fidget spinners came and blessedly went. The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted something about politics.
The national debt has grown by more than $3 trillion, which comes to about $13,000 per taxpayer. A trillion is a hard number to get your head around for a lot of reasons. One is that there’s only about $1.5 trillion in U.S. circulation at any given time. It’s a lot.
Roy Moore had to leave the Supreme Court for a second time, after a suspension by the court of the judiciary. He ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to Doug Jones. Now they are both running again, along with the former attorney general of the United States and the former football coach who warned Alabama fans to “fear the thumb.” A lot has happened.
Alabama won a national championship in football and lost two other cracks at it. Jalen Hurts left Alabama, and became a Heisman finalist. Tua Tagovailoa likely played out his entire college career in the time since Hubbard was sentenced. Auburn went to the Final Four in basketball.
Gene Wilder died, and Arnold Palmer. So did Tom Petty and Mary Tyler Moore and Chuck Berry. That list goes on and on. Kids who started college that fall are one semester from graduation. If they went to class.
In 2016 everybody had headphones attached to their iPhones. Now they don’t. Babies born during Mike Hubbard’s trial can now walk, and run, and talk, and operate YouTube. Goat yoga – inexplicably -- became a thing.
Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy. And so did Radio Shack. And Sears and Claire’s and Brookstone and on and on.
Half the people died – spoiler alert -- in Avengers: Infinity War, and almost all of them came back – spoiler alert -- in Avengers: Endgame. Between the two they made $4.7 billion at the box office. Which is just a little more than the amount of the Jefferson County Bankruptcy in 2013 that was aided and abetted by corruption. A lot has happened since Mike Hubbard was sentenced.
BLOGGER COMMENTS: Last September the media reported that District Judge Douglas Patterson was under investigation by the AG's office. No other information was provided at that time. Today, the hammer fell. It's another case of "use of official position or office for personal gain", one which I'm afraid is all too prevalent around here.
LIMESTONE COUNTY JUDGE ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES
A Limestone County District judge is out of jail on bond after being indicted on multiple charges. Stephen Young with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office confirmed to WAAY 31 Judge Douglas Patterson was booked into the Limestone County Jail around 8:30 this morning.
The arrest stems from grand jury indictments and is being handled by the Alabama Attorney General's office. Patterson is charged with use of official position or office for personal gain, financial exploitation of the elderly 1st degree, and theft 3rd degree.
Judge Patterson bonded out of jail around 9 a.m. on a $30,000 bond.
BLOGGER COMMENTS: and when that scanner catches the left-behind insiders, the leeches that feed off others' miseries, and the dumb-dumbs who don'r know any better, there may be some red faces in high places.
Morgan sheriff: Jail contraband investigation results in Decatur woman's arrest
By Marian Accardi Staff Writer
An inmate's effort to have contraband cellphones and drugs brought into the Morgan County Jail led to an undercover operation that resulted in a Decatur woman's arrest and highlighted what authorities say is an ongoing issue.
The investigation began several weeks ago and involved jail staff and other agents of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, according to Mike Swafford, office spokesman.
“An inmate propositioned a corrections officer, who handled it correctly by notifying investigators,” Swafford said.
During the undercover portion of the operation, Marquita Laneice Gary, 25, of Decatur, met with an investigator posing as a jailer on two occasions, Swafford said.
The first time, she brought $500 for the “jailer" as payment, Swafford said in a news release. During the second meeting Monday, Gary brought four cellphones, the synthetic narcotic spice and alprazolam, or Xanax, Swafford said. Gary was taken into custody after the second meeting, he said.
During further investigation, agents recovered more spice and alprazolam, a quantity of crack cocaine and a pistol from her residence, Swafford said. Jail records listed her address as 407 14th Ave. N.W.
Gary was charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance-cocaine, Swafford said. Gary remained in Morgan County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $11,000.
The contraband issue is “not growing, but an ongoing issue any facility faces, that we continue to combat,” Swafford said.
In June, for example, the office’s Drug Task Force arrested two people that authorities say collaborated in coordinating the delivery of drugs into the Morgan County Jail through drops made outside and inside the jail.
The Morgan County Commission agreed last month to spend $181,000 on two scanners and a metal detector that weren't included in the county’s fiscal 2020 budget. The equipment is to be used to keep contraband out of the jail and reduce liability for body searches. The equipment will be paid for with county reserves.
“It gives us another tool to secure the facility,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said last month. “Hopefully, it will eliminate all contraband in the jail.”
The Drug Task Force has added Peluchi, a K9 deputy, to the force. The golden retriever, certified in narcotics detection, will assist the task force and will be deployed in the Morgan County Jail to guard against illegal contraband, Swafford said last month.
This is the first K9 deputy assigned to the Narcotics Unit and to be regularly used in the jail.
Folks, the officer from Huntsville PD who was shot in the heart and died on Friday was the 6th officer to die in the line of duty this year. Our streets, cities, and towns are full of drug dealers and other criminals. Our officers place themselves in danger each day to protect us. It is a shame that in today's society many people favor the criminals over the power of authority. Our law enforcement men and women work hard to ensure that the citizens are protected from those who are outright criminals or are criminals in sheep's clothing.
Our hearts go out to this officer who did everything right and was fighting to get drugs off the street.
BLOGGER COMMENTS: Maybe I'm seeing patterns that do really exist, BUT pastors and ethics violations, evidence room misuse and ethics violations. No known connection, as Paul Harvey used to say right before he hinted at one. Another one has chosen to resign and turned himself in for the arrest but Treherne is both a pastor and evidence misuse. Seems like there was a similar problem right here in Morgan County. Remember? Alabama deputy arrested on felony ethics charge
A veteran law enforcement officer was arrested Tuesday on felony charges.
Dallas County sheriff’s Sgt. John Treherne is charged with use of office for personal gain and third-degree theft, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Authorities said Treherne is accused of paying for mechanical work he had done with property that was stored as evidence in a case.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. Jackson said Treherne’s bond is set at $40,000.
The case was investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum said the alleged wrongdoing happened under the previous sheriff’s administration. Granthum said he received information about the possible crime and immediately began to investigate. Once they realized there was truth to the information, they summoned SBI to take over.
He said Treherne, who also is a pastor, resigned at 8 a.m. Tuesday after learning that warrants had been issued for his arrest. After resigning, he surrendered to the Dallas County Jail.
Treherne had worked for the Selma Police Department for about 10 years, and the sheriff’s office for 16 years. He said news of his arrest came as a shock to many in the sheriff’s office and beyond. "He’s like a brother to a lot of them,'' he said. “A lot of people are surprised. They’re having a hard time understanding it due to his character in the past. There were no warning signs or anything.”
However, Granthum said, all wrongdoing will be investigated whether it’s a law enforcement officer or not. "This is something that can’t go on,'' he said. “I will not have it.”
BLOGGER COMMENTS: The A P publishes a monthly roundup of interesting and important newspaper editorials. The Decatur Daily made the cut with its editorial on Ana's legal issues. In case you missed it, here it is again. The link is for all three of the editorials.
The Decatur Daily on the end of recent legal battles for former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin:
When Ana Franklin was elected Morgan County sheriff in 2010, there was the hope she would restore the office’s reputation, which had suffered under her predecessor, Greg Bartlett.
Bartlett had spent a night in jail after violating a court order regarding the feeding and care of jail inmates. That was all part of a larger situation involving a state law that, at the time, allowed sheriffs to pocket money left over from feeding inmates as personal income.
Bartlett earned the nickname “Sheriff Corndog” for a period in which he fed jail inmates corn dogs and little else after getting a truckload of the carnival staple for a pittance.
After finishing a close second to Bartlett in the 2010 Republican primary, Franklin went on to defeat him in the runoff, winning 53.4% of the vote. She would easily dispatch her Democratic opponent in the general election.
Franklin’s first term seemed to go smoothly, and she won the 2014 GOP primary in a landslide, with 79% of the vote. She had no Democratic opposition.
It was then that things started to take a turn, and by the end of Franklin’s second term, her legal problems involved a bankrupt car dealership, lawsuits and a federal investigation. Ironically, it also involved violating the same court order that had landed Bartlett in jail, opening the door to Franklin’s successful challenge for the office.
Franklin did not seek a third term in last year’s election, and she was succeeded by Ron Puckett, but the book on her tenure as Morgan County sheriff didn’t truly close until the past few weeks.
That’s when Franklin settled lawsuits with a critic and her former jail warden for searches of their homes.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a website critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said earlier this month. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
Franklin also entered a plea agreement to end her federal tax case.
Franklin pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor charge of willful failure to file a tax return in January and was sentenced last month to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. An Oct. 21 order outlined the terms of the probation, including the prohibition on her possessing firearms.
Franklin successfully argued last week to have the firearm provision revised so she can keep one gun at home for personal protection.
Despite the best of hopes, Morgan County has now had two sheriffs leave office in disgrace.
We hope Sheriff Puckett puts an end to that trend.
BLOGGER COMMENTS: An 18-year-old thug is about to find out that killing a cop is Capital Murder. IMO, this one will end up on Death Row. Meanwhile, the outpouring of grief in this mostly poor county is genuine and deserved. RIP, Sheriff Williams.
Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams became the fifth Alabama law enforcement officer to be killed by gunfire in the line of duty this year.
From theAl.comstory: “Williams, affectionately known as “Big John” and described as a pillar in his profession and in the community where he grew up and served, was shot after he responded to a call at a convenience storein Hayneville Saturday night.”
Montgomery teen held without bond in murder of Lowndes County sheriff
Updated Nov 26, 2019;Posted Nov 25, 2019
An 18-year-old charged in the murder of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams made his initial court appearance Monday morning in Lowndes District Court in Hayneville.
William Chase Johnson, of Montgomery, entered the courtroom in black and white striped jail clothes flanked by two state troopers.
Crenshaw County District Judge Tom Sport handled the proceeding, which lasted only a few minutes.
Sport advised Johnson of the murder charge and asked Johnson if he would hire an attorney or if he needed the court to appoint one. Johnson shook his head, indicating he did not know.
Sport ordered Johnson held without bond. Sport said he would schedule a preliminary hearing in the case after Johnson has a lawyer.
Johnson was led out of the courthouse after the hearing. He has been held in the Elmore County jail.
Williams was shot to death outside the QV convenience store in Hayneville about 8 p.m. Saturday. Johnson surrendered to authorities at the crime scene a few hours later, ending an hours-long manhunt.
The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case and has not released any information about the circumstances of the shooting.
Sport, a Crenshaw County District Judge, was appointed to preside over the case after Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson recused himself, court records show. Also on Monday, Sport issued a gag order instructing Johnson, his attorneys, and prosecutors not to talk to the media.