Two defendants in a 17-year-old capital murder case have been released on bond, according to court records.
Jack David Stovall, 66, and Kenneth Earl Kemp, 50, both of Anniston, were charged in March with kidnapping and capital murder in the 1997 death of Oxford resident Floyd Roger Hurst. They were released on May 16, the day after Judge Brian Howell filed an order setting the bonds — $1 million for Stovall and $250,000 for Kemp.
Lynn Hammond, chief assistant district attorney who is helping to prosecute the case, said she could not comment on the case because it is pending.
According to motions filed by Kemp’s attorney, Fred Lawton, the break in the case came from a former girlfriend of Kemp’s, who said that she had accompanied Stovall and Kemp when they disposed of the body in some kind of wood chipper or shredder.
Lawton said Tuesday the girlfriend “just walked into Oxford Police Department and wanted to get it off her chest.” Lawton said the woman has two children in jail, and he believes she’s hoping to help them, he said.
Hurst disappeared on Super Bowl Sunday in 1997. According to reports in The Star, Hurst told family members he was going to the Red Horse Lounge in Anniston, which Stovall had owned at one time.
Stovall’s indictment alleges he killed Hurst that day. In 1997, investigators told The Star that Stovall suspected Hurst and two other men of burglarizing his home.
In December 1997, Stovall pleaded guilty to a charge of murder for hire after he said he hired someone to kill Barry Jackson, another of those he suspected of the burglary of his home. At the time, Jackson told The Star that he was not involved with the burglary and was targeted because he was investigating Hurst’s disappearance.
Stovall was also charged in the death of Daryl Adams, whose body was found in a limousine at the Alabama Show Palace in Anniston. Stovall, however, did not plead guilty in Adams’ death.
Stovall was sentenced to nine years in prison and was released in 2005.
Attorney Jason Odom, who with attorney William Broome is defending Stovall, said working on a case that is 17 years old is difficult.
“We would literally have to dig up one witness who was mentioned at the board hearing,” Odom said. “He died a few years ago.”
He maintains his client’s innocence.
“We’re sure he will be exonerated,” Odom said.
Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge said Tuesday the investigation is ongoing and that he is confident that in another couple of months the investigation will yield a strong case.