Justin White Convicted
A Bessemer jury convicted a Hoover man for the murder of UAB nursing student Sirrea Black. The jury deliberated for part of two days before finding Justin White guilty of capital murder. The jury is now deliberating the sentence to determine the particular punishment for White. Prosecutors say White assaulted and strangled Black in 2006. Her body was found stuffed in a car truck abandoned behind an old grocery store.
Man Shot in Anniston
Anniston Police are looking for a gunman who shot a man in front of his wife and two children. The incident happened at the intersection of Ninth Street and Highland Avenue around 7:30 Thursday morning. Police say the man was sitting in the driver's seat of his car and was shot four times. He is now in surgery at Regional Medical Center. The victim's wife and two children were in the car, but were not injured.
Body Found in Bessemer
The Jefferson County coroner is working to identify a body found in Bessemer. Police say the body was found floating Wednesday in a creek off of Ninth Avenue. Investigators are trying to determine how the person died.
Double Murder Trial Continues
The trial continues in Talladega for a man accused of double murder. Prosecutors say that Wakilii Brown beat his girlfriend and her mother to death in March 2001. A forensics expert testified on Thursday, the victims' injuries were not consistent with the use of any items considered to be possible weapons.
Morton Response to School Closings
There was a standoff between Birmingham lawmakers and Alabama school superintendent Joe Morton in Montgomery this week. The two sides met to discuss Birmingham's plan to close sixteen schools. Morton said he supports the school board's decision. Lawmakers got angry when Morton refused their request to delay the school closings. State representative John Rogers has threatened to filibuster the education budget if Morton does not agree to the delay. He also hinted at a possible lawsuit.
New Sex Offender Bill Proposed
Another bill in Montgomery is seeking to keep sex offenders away from colleges and universities. Current law bans sex offenders from living within two thousand feet of high schools and elementary schools. State representative Jamie Ison wants to expand the law to protect female college students. The bill, however, would not keep sex offenders from attending college classes.
State Smoking Ban?
A Senate committee is voting Thursday on a bill that would ban smoking within fifteen feet from the entrance of just about any establishment in the state, from restaurants to shopping malls, including the workplace. Senator Vivian Davis Figures from Mobile has been trying for three years to get similar legislation passed. Her supporters argue second hand smoke is harmful to non smokers, and that their rights need to be balanced with the rights of smokers. Businesses that violate the proposed ban would face fines of one hundred dollars or more.