Shooting deemed justified

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Pike County Deputy’s use of deadly force against a Brundidge man was deemed justified on Tuesday by a local grand jury.

Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Wentland shot and killed Ricky Shackelford on Sept. 5 during an attempt to serve an arrest warrant. Shackelford resisted and came after Wentland and other officers armed with a knife and a machete.

The incident had been under investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, which issued its finding to the Pike County Grand Jury this week.

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“After deliberation, the grand jury issued its findings that Pike County Deputy Sheriff Henry Wentland’s use of deadly force against Ricky Shackelford, under the circumstances, was justified,” District Attorney Gary McAliley said.

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said he would not comment on the case, nor would Shackelford’s parents.

In a separate case, the grand jury also returned no indictment against Troy Police Officer Willie Toney, who had been accused of sexually abusing an underage girl.

Charges against Toney, the TPD school resource officer, were presented to a grand jury earlier this year with no indictment being returned at that time.

McAiley said the case went back before the grand jury with new evidence from the ABI, but the grand jury again returned no indictment against Toney.

“That investigation continued,” McAliley said. “They came yesterday and today and presented the evidence available, including newly discovered evidence, and the grand jury did not indict the Troy Police officer Willie Toney.”