A former Piedmont resident in Tennessee was awaiting extradition on Tuesday to Alabama, where he faces a murder charge in connection with the death of his wife in 2003.
Randall Wayne Kirkpatrick, 33, was arrested Friday by deputies with the Dyer County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee. Kirkpatrick moved to Dyer County immediately after his wife’s death, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said Tuesday.
A Calhoun County grand jury indicted Kirkpatrick on a charge of murder June 20 in connection with the shooting death of Deborah Lynn Kirkpatrick, 22, found dead on June 3, 2003 inside her Piedmont home, Amerson said. Kirkpatrick had a young child at the time of her death who was in the home but was unharmed when she was killed, Amerson said.
Amerson said Piedmont police and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences investigated the death, but determined no cause.
Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh said Kirkpatrick died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Calhoun County’s Cold Case Unit and District Attorney’s Office reopened the case several months ago and found new evidence that led to Kirkpatrick’s indictment, Amerson said.
The Center for Applied Forensics at Jacksonville State University aided in the second investigation, McVeigh said.
McVeigh declined Tuesday to discuss many of the details about evidence in the case, but said that Kirkpatrick’s actions after the death — moving to Tennessee immediately — and conflicts between physical evidence and what Kirkpatrick told police at the time of his wife’s death raised concerns.
McVeigh said that additional evidence found in the second investigation “assisted in providing a potential motive” but he declined to discuss what investigators believe that motive may have been.
Investigators reconstructed the room in which Deborah Kirkpatrick was found dead, McVeigh said, and that helped them determine that her death was not a suicide.
“This has been one of those cases that has always lingered as inconsistent, strange, undetermined,” McVeigh said.
Ann Parris, the victim’s sister, said at a press conference at the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday that she never believed her sister had killed herself, and that she fought for years for the case to be reopened.
“So much time has gone by that a lot of people just assumed maybe she did commit suicide. That’s always bothered me,” Parris said by phone Monday. “I don’t want people thinking that about my sister.”
Kirkpatrick’s court date had not been set as of Tuesday morning.
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.