Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dothan Jury Finds Man Innocent of Attempted Murder of Police Officer

For the third time in recent months a Dothan, AL jury has come back with an astonishing verdict in a drug case. They are astonishing because they are correct verdicts. I don't remember the details of the first two cases other than they were both drug related and the verdict was not guilty.

In today's Dothan Eagle a jury has found a man who was fleeing from police officers NOT GUILTY of trying to run over one of those officers.

Jury finds no intent to kill

A Houston County jury concluded a Hartford man charged with attempted murder was not trying to kill a Dothan police officer when he drove toward the officer during a confrontation last year.

Instead, the jury convicted Fred Kenyatta “Lamont” Collins, 33, of the lesser included offense of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Collins was also convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and first degree possession of marijuana, both Class C felonies.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 28 in front of Circuit Judge Butch Binford.

Police arrested Collins in June of 2009 after he failed to yield to emergency vehicles. He was arrested after authorities shot out a tire in the vehicle he was driving. He was charged with trying to run over a Dothan police officer during the pursuit.

Officers testified Collins drove through the front yard and around to the back of a Wicksburg residence on Riverview Drive several times despite repeated calls for Collins to stop and get out of his vehicle.

Collins claimed he did not know the people were police officers. They were not in uniform at the time of the incident.

One officer, Jeremy Kendrick, claimed Collins accelerated in his direction in an attempt to run him over during the incident. The officer said he had to dive out of the path of the vehicle to keep from being struck.

These continued proper verdicts give me hope that things are changing here for the better. Many thanks to the juries. Could it possibly be that jury nullification is happening there?

1 comment:

sixstring said...

I remember the other two cases, and they really did seem like jury nullification but this case... not so much. Sounds like this guy was indeed not trying to kill anyone but they did find him guilty of reckless endagerment and felony possession of marijuana. In the other cases it seemed the juries were just refusing to convict on the drug charges and returned not guilty verdicts. It's not clear if the judges in those cases gave any lesser included offense instructions to the juries. In one, the defendant allegdedly had 20 lbs of pot.

Similar things happened during prohibition when many juries refused to convict on alcohol charges. Maybe we're moving in that direction.