State and local authorities have nabbed two church arson suspects. Investigators have arrested two men for the January 16th fire at Providence Baptist Church in northern Chilton County. The sheriff here says he's thrilled the two men are in custody and he has not ruled out more arrests. In jail are 31-year old Billy Ray and 31-year old Bryan Henry. They lived together at a house in Shelby County. That is where they were arrested Tuesday night by the Chilton County Sheriff's deputies along with the ATF and other agencies. Both are charged with first degree theft of property and third degree burglary in connection with the fire at the Providence Baptist Church in Chilton County. The fire destroyed the church January 12th. These are felony charges. The sheriff says these men have a number of prior arrests on other charges. Sheriff Davis is very relieved that the men are in custody.
Ethics Committee Looks Into Senate Punch
The State Senate Ethics Committee is addressing a confrontation that happened during the last legislative session. The incident in question is when Senator Charles Bishop punched Senator Lowell Barron last year. The video was seen by web users all over the world. Committee members say the issue needs to be resolved to keep it from causing friction during the upcoming session.
Lawmaker Arrested for Swindling
A state lawmaker is under arrest after a federal indictment accusing her of swindling tens of thousands of dollars from a program for young people. State Representative Sue Schmitz is from Madison County. A federal indictment accuses her of defrauding the city program out of more than $177,000. Court documents show Schmitz will be arraigned in federal court February 11th. The US Attorney will hold a news conference about Schmitz’s arrest this afternoon at one.
Hearing Comes for 08’s First Murder Case
A man suspected of Birmingham’s first murder of 2008 is scheduled for a preliminary hearing this afternoon. Arthur Kirksey is accused of murdering Winifred Bryant on January 2nd. The 25-year-old woman was killed in Woodlawn. Kirkesy is charged with capital murder.
Finley Avenue Exit Closed for Six Months
State transportation officials will close the I-65 northbound exit at Finley Avenue in Birmingham, today. The exit will be closed for the next six months, until July 31st. Transportation officials say the exit closure is necessary for work to continue to widen the interstate.
New Developments in the Natalee Holloway Case
New developments are happening in the Natalee Holloway case. Aruban prosecutors say they are investigating new evidence in the Mountain Brook teen's disappearance. A Dutch crime reporter, Peter De Vries, handed the evidence over to prosecutors, but what that evidence entails has not been released. Prosecutors do say that evidence may shed new light in the mode of which Holloway has died and the method by which her body disappeared.
Shot Spotter Spots Shooter at Shot Spot
A new high-tech crime fighting tool gets its first arrest. Birmingham Police say the shot spotter program helped in the arrest of 20-year-old James Rogers. Rogers is charged with discharging a firearm within the city limits. The shot spotter program alerted police to the exact location where the shot was fired. When police arrived, neighbors told officers where the suspect was hiding. Lieutenant Henry Irby says this program will not work without help from the public.