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December 18, 2014

Teen faces capital murder charges

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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:44 pm

TALLADEGA -- A Talladega County teenager has been certified as an adult and is being held in the metro jail without bond in the slaying of a Talladega County store owner, charged with two counts of capital murder during a robbery in the first degree, according to Talladega Police.

Dawson Scott Miller, 16, was arrested as a juvenile in October 2013. District Court Judge Ryan Rumsey issued an order transferring him from the juvenile docket in district court to the adult felony docket in circuit court Tuesday, according to Police Capt. John McCoy. Circuit Judge Julian King ordered Miller held without bond on the two counts of capital murder.

Miller is accused of killing Earnest Jenkins, 75, during a robbery on Oct. 4, 2013. When police arrived at the scene just after 8 a.m. that day, Jenkins was found dead in the store on Ironaton Road that bore his name. Miller also suffered a gunshot wound during the robbery, but was airlifted to University of Alabama Birmingham and recovered from his injuries.

The counts stem from the two definitions of robbery in the first degree in Alabama, which is the aggravating circumstance that makes this a capital case. Specifically, to prove that a robbery in the first degree was committed, the state must prove that Miller was either armed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or that he caused serious physical injury to another person. Both sets of alleged facts would apply in this case.

Because Miller was younger than 18 years old when the crimes were committed, he will not face the death penalty if convicted. If convicted of capital murder, he will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A male and a female were taken into custody along with Miller, but to date neither appears to have been charged in connection with the robbery or the killing. Neither appeared to have been inside the store when the shooting happened.

According to his obituary, Jenkins was a Talladega native who lived most of his life here. He served in the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam veteran.

He is survived by a wife, four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

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