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September 18, 2014

Defendant plans to represent self in murder trial

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Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:51 pm

Jury selection is expected to begin Monday morning in the case of an Oxford man charged with murder, according to Talladega County Assistant District Attorney Christina Kilgore.

Christopher Isaac Surles, 24, is accused of killing Matthew Paul Howie, 19, of Anniston, on or about July 13, 2012.

At the time of the killing, Oxford Police said they believed Surles and Howie had been involved in a robbery outside a bank the day before Howie died. A debit card, a handgun and a set of keys of were reported stolen.

The victim in the robbery case said he was robbed by a masked gunman outside the BB&T Bank branch on U.S. 78. The robber, allegedly Surles, fled on foot.

An Alabama Power employee discovered Howie’s body on the side of Kentuck Mountain Road and McIntosh Road between Munford and Oxford the day after the robbery. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Surles apparently fled the state, but was eventually arrested in the parking lot of a Walmart in Columbia, Tenn., according to news stories published at the time. The same story reported that Surles was arrested in Howie’s 1992 Buick Park Avenue, and was carrying the gun stolen during the BB&T robbery.

Surles remains in the Talladega County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Kilgore said that Surles has indicated that he plans to represent himself at trial.

Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth will be presiding over the trial.

If convicted, Surles faces a sentence of 20 to 99 year or life in prison.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

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