A 17-year-old from Childersburg is in the Talladega County Metro Jail with no bond after being charged with capital murder Tuesday.
Lakendrick Jamal Jones is charged with committing a murder during the course of a robbery June 29.
At about 2 p.m. on that day, Jones allegedly shot and killed William Gerry Taylor, the 73-year-old owner of 4 Way Grocery and Auto Parts on the 7000 block of Plant Road. Sometime after that, a customer came into the store and called 911 after finding Taylor unconscious and unresponsive behind the counter. Chief Deputy Josh Tubbs said in a press release that “medical intervention was unsuccessful, and Mr. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Tubbs went on to say that “curing the course of the investigation, a person of interest was identified. Investigators obtained a warrant for the arrest of Jones.”
Tubbs added that the investigation remained ongoing and that other arrests were expected in the case. Little other information was readily available Tuesday evening.
The next step for this defendant will likely be a preliminary hearing in District Court, where the judge will determine if there is enough evidence to turn the case over to a grand jury. The grand jury would then decide whether to indict Jones of capital murder, a lesser charge or no charge.
Since Jones is being charged with a capital case and is over 16, he is automatically certified as an adult for trial purposes. Since he was younger than 21 at the time, however, he would still have the right to apply for youthful offender status. If granted, he would stand trial before a judge only, not a jury, and would face a maximum of three years in prison and a clean record on release.
If youthful offender status is not granted, he would stand trial for capital murder in front of a jury. Normally, an adult convicted of capital murder would face either life in prison without the possiblilty of parole or death by lethal injection.
Again, because of his age, however, Jones will not face the death penalty if convicted. His punishment, set by the court, would be either life or life without the possibility of parole.
If he is sentenced to life, he will not be eligible for parole until he has served 30 years.
Anyone with information on this incident should contact the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office investigative division at 256-761-2141or leave an anonymous tip through www.talladegasheriff.org or on the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office mobile app.
Information can also be left with Central Alabama CrimeStoppers using their 24-hour tip
line at (334) 215-STOP (7867), or download the P3-tips app. Central Alabama CrimeStoppers
can also be reached using their toll-free number at 1-833-AL1-STOP.