Suspect in custody after Mt. Moriah standoff
Published 9:20 am Monday, January 25, 2016
A Mt. Moriah woman is dead and a California man is in custody after an early morning standoff at her residence.
James Michael Swithers, 24, was in custody early Monday and will be charged in the shooting death of Addie Stephens, 48.
Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said deputies are trying to piece together the timeline that led to the 4:51 a.m. call of shots at Stephens’ resident on County Road 1111.
“We got the call at 4:51 a.m. and when deputies arrived, another female came running out of the residence,” the sheriff said. “She said the shooter was still inside the house and the other lady had been shot, and she felt like she was dead.”
Thomas said Swithers barricaded himself in the house “with multiple firearms” and finally surrendered to deputies around 6:30 a.m.
Stephens was found in the living room, where she had been shot once in the upper torso. Thomas said she was declared dead at the scene.
No one else was injured.
Thomas said the second woman in the residence was related to Swithers. Deputies are trying to determine the motive for the shooting.
“We believe he’s been living in California and just arrived in Pike County yesterday,” Thomas said. “His mother lives in the area.” The family is from St. Claire County in north Alabama, although Thomas said Swithers had been living in California for at least a year before coming to Pike County yesterday.
“We’re still trying to piece it all together,” he said, adding that he expects charges to be filed against Swithers today.
Thomas said the sheriff’s department was assisted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Pike County Coroner and the District Attorney’s Office during the standoff and investigation.