I was very disappointed and upset to learn that a person indicted for the April murder in Anniston of Dequirea Royal was free on probation at the time of the killing and had a suspended sentence for a recent (2011) first-degree robbery conviction, for which he had been given 15 years. How can this be?
I did social work in the Jefferson County jail in the 1970s and recall that sentencing for felons convicted of first-degree robbery required at least a few years of penitentiary time. Surely, sentencing has not gotten softer since then — but apparently it has.
This was a horrendous act of violence that might have been avoided had the indicted party, Kenmonte Jacob Winsley, been in the penitentiary as he should have been. And the victim turns out to be a patriotic soldier of the National Guard who was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.
And this, in Alabama, where we’re supposed to be so conservative? Has the judge explained why Winsley was free at the time of the murder? I find the whole business an unnecessary tragedy and maddeningly outrageous. Regardless of how the case turns out, I am extremely disappointed that a convicted first-degree robber with a 15-year sentence would be free on probation and on a suspended sentence in the first place. Would someone in the legal or law-enforcement profession please explain?