10 murder cases still in court

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, January 9, 2020

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Editor’s note: This article was updated at 12:20 p.m. on January 10, 2020, to clarify testimony during the preliminary hearing for Shane Demar Dunlap, charged with the murder of Willie Scott.


There are currently 10 murder suspects still awaiting court action in Pike County.

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“It seems like it comes in cycles,” said Jon Folmar, assistant district attorney. “We have quite a bit for a while and then sometimes we have less. Unfortunately, it just seems like we’ve had a pretty bad cycle. Murder has been around since the beginning with Cain and Abel, so it’s nothing new. But there’s a lot of access now to violent television and games on cell phones that is an indication of the nature of our society at the moment. Until we learn to settle disputes in another way, this is going to keep happening.”

Local prosecutors wrapped one murder case that had been in the system for nearly three years just before the start of the new year.

Alexis Shantell Boswell, 25, pleaded guilty in December to a charge of manslaughter in the death of Bernard Farrior, 65, who was found dead in his residence on Daisy Court in March 2017. He was stabbed three times, once in each arm and once in the chest, and died after falling and hitting his head. Boswell was initially charged with capital murder as the killing occurred during a robbery, but the plea deal allowed the charge to be dropped to manslaughter and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

On Wednesday, a preliminary hearing was held for Shane Dunlap, who is accused of murdering Willie Scott in November 2019. During the hearing, police laid out evidence that Scott had picked Dunlap up from Birmingham and brought him to Scott’s residence in Troy, offering a place to stay and work. During the same hearing, Dunlap claimed that the killing was in self-defense after Scott attempted to assault him. The case is now awaiting presentment to a grand jury.

Charles Louis Foster is set for sentencing on Jan. 29 after pleading guilty to the murder of Eddie K. Blair, 56, on Dec. 24, 2017. He was also charged with four counts of attempted murder in the shooting of four other people at the Chapman Street residence. Police at the time said the shooting was the result of a domestic disturbance between Foster and a female victim.

Tige Townsend will be sentenced on Jan. 30 after he did not follow through on the terms of a plea deal with prosecutors. Townsend originally pleaded down his charge in exchange for testimony that Demarcus Flowers ordered a hit on Xavier Hakeem Thomas, 23, in May 2017, and drove Jacory Flowers to the scene of the crime at Walding Circle to kill Thomas. Flower was previously convicted of the crime, but Townsend backed out of testifying, telling prosecutors instead that Flowers was not involved and that he himself had driven the vehicle to Walding Circle that night.

“I believe that ultimately is what resulted in the acquittal of Demarcus Flowers,” Folmar said.

The guilty plea remains in effect, but Townsend may now be sentenced up to life in prison for his role in the crime.

Domeka McKenzie and Leon Flowers are both awaiting presentment of their cases to a grand jury.

McKenzie is charged with the murder of Carl Burney, 33, in August 2018 outside Autumn Ridge Apartments. Police said Burney was outside his apartment when McKenzie arrived, stabbing Burney in his chest and back before fleeing the scene.

Flowers is charged with the robbery and murder of Neil Purush Kumar, 30, at the J&S Buy Rite in Brundidge on July 24, 2019. Flowers allegedly walked into the store, demanded money form the cash register, and fatally shot Kumar after receiving the cash and while Kumar complied with demands. The murder galvanized the community as law enforcement sought to solve the senseless act. Flowers had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in April in a different case and been released on time served.

Ashley Beebe and and Pat Dickey Jr. are both awaiting trial in the murder of Gary Pergler, 48, in March 2018. Pergler was reported missing several days prior to police discovering his body in a rural area of Pike County. Both are on the trial docket for June at this time. Folmar said Dickey Jr. is pending a mental evaluation from the Alabama Department of Mental Health at this time and that Beebe changed attorneys, delaying their trials.

Jeremyah Howell and Tharion Nye are both awaiting trial in the strangling death of Rashad McLaney, 25, in November 2018. Howell allegedly discovered McLaney in the bedroom of Howell’s girlfriend, sparking a verbal altercation. Howell and Nye then returned, allegedly armed with guns. Howell then is alleged to have strangled McLaney to death, which Howell argued was during mutual combat. Howell later transported McLaney to the hospital approximately 30 minutes after the incident, according to police, where McLaney was pronounced dead.

Roydricus McCray will face trial in April after being indicted in the shooting death of 33-year-old Sequoia Harris on Pike County Lake Road in November 2018. Harris was shot multiple times.

Russell Senn will face trial in March after being indicted in the fatal stabbing of his sister, Sharron Schwening, in the yard of a home on Trojan Way in April 2013.