The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama on April 23, 1992 · 11
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The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama · 11

Montgomery, Alabama
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 23, 1992
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Tlie Montgomery Adrtiser , THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 1992 PAGE 3B Two charged in nightclub burglary Stall and Wire Reports , Montgomery police have " charged a teen-age boy and a Federal Drive man with burglary and theft in connection with a break-in at an Atlanta Highway nightclub Monday. Both are charged with third-degree burglary and first-degree theft stemming from a break-in at The Nashville Showcase, 3560 Atlanta Highway. Burglars entered through an emergency exit, after taping the lock to prevent it from closing, and stole $2,800 in cash, according to police reports. ' Christopher Hester, 20, of 717-A Federal Drive also has been charged with second-degree theft and possessing forged instruments after police said he cashed two stolen checks, and second-degree rape and sodomy in an earlier incident, said Capt. Wyatt Gantt, Montgomery Police Department spokesman. 1 Police are investigating any connection he might have with other burglaries in the area, Capt. Gantt said. The 16-year-old has been charged only in connection with the nightclub burglary, he said. Mr. Hester was held on $37,000 bond in the Montgomery County jail Wednesday, jail officials said. No information was available Wednesday on the youth's status. Woman indicted in daughter's killing An April Montgomery County grand jury returned two indictments against a Montgomery woman charged in the death of her 5-month-old daughter whose body was found in a garbage can in January. Phyllis Walker, 23, of 22 Court-land Drive awaits trial on murder charges for the death of 5-month-old Margaret and attempted murder of her 20-month-old son Marcus. 1 Deputy District Attorney Brenda Watson said police had charged Ms. Walker with manslaughter but the grand jury voted to upgrade the indictments. Police found the baby Jan. 30 in a plastic bag and a witness at the scene said the bag was in a plastic garbage can. A neighbor told police Marcus was bruised and barely able to sit up. A judge has not yet been assigned the case, Ms. Watson said. : Indictment returned in killing rampage i MOBILE A Mobile County grand jury indicted a 23-year-old man on charges of capital murder and attempted murder in a February shooting spree that left four people dead. Jason Oric Williams was indicted Tuesday for the Feb. 15 rampage in Irvington, seven miles south of Mobile. i One of the capital murder indictments alleges the intentional killing of Gerald Paravicini; Freddie Barber, 50; his wife Linda Barber, 46; and their son, Bryan Barber, 22. The second indictment alleges the murder of1 Mr. Barber and his wife during the robbery of their van. The attempted murder charges stem from the shootings of Jeffrey Carr and Brad Barber, both 16. Mr. Paravicini let Mr. Williams move into his trailer about two weeks before the shootings. Au- thorities said Mr. Williams began 1 shooting after his ex-wife told him she didn't want to see him ; again following a date. 1 Mr. Williams allegedly shot Mr. : Paravicini and Mr, Carr at their trailer, then stalked down the road to the Barber home and killed the couple and one of their two sons. Law enforcement officials search for fugitive Associated Press Report TALLADEGA Local and federal officials combed a heavily-wooded area Wednesday near the Talladega Superspeedway for a suspect in a 1988 double killing. Tommy Hazelwood of Talladega said he was hunting in the area about 8 a.m. when he spotted a Court Continued from 1B with inaccuracies. But Ms. Bar-nett remained firm. '"It is unthinkable to wait one day longer than necessary to be released," she said. Ms. Barnett said system officials had complied with most terms of the lawsuit's consent decree and should petition the courts to be released from those areas of oversight.. Mr. Jones and board member Debra Smith said the system could petition for gradual release. Using a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding a desegregation lawsuit in DeKalb County, Ga., Mr. Jones told board members there is nothing i : p I - s . ; x ' ( 4 j ... 1 Turner says the abortion issue will play an important role in the state's next gubernatorial race Abortion ruling likely to have impact in Alabama By GITA M. SMITH Staff Writer The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a challenge to Pennsylvania's restrictive abortion laws, and an Alabama civil liberties spokeswoman said the outcome could cause women in this state to lose their reproductive freedom rights. The case before the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, is expected to be decided by July 3, said Olivia Turner, executive director of the Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. She predicted this case could overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that granted women nationwide the right to a legal abortion. "I believe that abortion rights will play a pivotal role in Alabama's next gubernatorial race and in the election of state lawmakers because, once Roe vs. Wade is overturned, each state will set its own rules," said Ms. Turner. Currently, Alabama does not restrict a woman's choice to have an abortion. However, several abortion-related bills are pending in the State House, including one that would outlaw abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the mother's life. That bill, sponsored by state Sen. Albert Lipscomb, R-Magnolia Springs, has passed the Alabama House and awaits debate in the Senate. The American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project argued the case on behalf of the women and family planning providers who challenged Pennsylvania's laws on the grounds that they violate privacy, the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause and the First Amendment's free speech guarantees. "The basic principal of Roe vs. Wade is that the decision to carry a pregnancy to term is a fundamental privacy right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and that governments must have a compelling interest to interfere with that preventing the courts from releasing the system. He said the lawsuit against Montgomery County was identical to the one formerly against the DeKalb County system, which since has been released from federal court supervision. "There is no question about whether this system could be released from court supervision. It can," Mr. Jones told board members. "The court can start releasing the system from supervision in areas where there already is compliance ... and we can get on with those areas that have not been resolved." There are at least two groups in Montgomery that do not want to see the system removed from court control, Mr. Jones said, but he did not name individuals. They "will object to release whenever it happens," he said. By ANDY HAILSStafl right," said Ms. Turner. Pennsylvania state law requires: Doctors, but no other classes of counselors or health professionals, to provide information to the pregnant woman, discouraging abortions. Women to read state-produced pamphlets showing fetal development at various stages. A 24-hour delay between the time of such counseling and the actual abortion. Written parental consent (from one parent) or a court order, in addition to the above requirements, for a woman under 18 to have the abortion. Parents of minors also are subject to lectures and must appear in person with the pregnant woman at the clinic. Husband notification of the woman's decision. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 ruled this restriction unconstitutional in an attempt to safeguard battered wives and those who became pregnant through marital rape. In addition, the plaintiffs are challenging Pennsylvania's definition of a "medical emergency," on the grounds that the wording of a clause allowing abortions to prevent a woman's death has created confusion in the medical community. The likelihood that a ruling in Casey will overturn Roe vs. Wade "is very high," said Ms. Turner. "As both Pennsylvania and the Bush Administration have asked the court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and as the court has been packed by Presidents Reagan and Bush with anti-abortion justices, he decision in Casey is expected to limit abortions not only in Pennsylvania but across the country," Ms. Turner said. "But if not now, then the court will do so when it hears arguments in January 1993 on Guam's abortion law," a law that allows abortions only when the mother's life is threatened, she said. man believed to be Larry Donald George, 40. Mr. Hazelwood said the man ran away as the hunter approached a remote cabin. Mr. George was indicted in 1988 on capital murder charges in the deaths of two Talladega neighbors. Police said Mr. George is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and is armed and dangerous. He disappeared shortly before his indictment. Petitioning for release now, instead of waiting until February when the consent decree ends, would force those groups to voice their opposition immediately, instead of waiting and coming forward at the last minute, Mr. Jones said. System officials "could save millions on busing," Mr. Jones said. "Time means everything in this situation." Mr. Harris said the entire debate was pointless because it was put on the agenda as part of Ms. Barnett's political campaign. He opposed petitioning for early release and said Ms. Barnett's proposal had less to do with bettering the school system than bettering her chances for re-election. Ms. Barnett denied her proposal was politically motivated. By ALVIN BENN Staff Writer COLUMBIANA A Shelby County man who thought he had AIDS and went on a drinking spree that led to the deaths of two people has begun serving two 21-year prison sentences after pleading guilty to murder. Billy Joel Jackson learned a day after the fatalities that he did not have Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, his lawyer said. "This is an incredibly sad story all around," Shelby County Public Defender Robert Williams said this week. "I've been involved in a lot of murder cases through the years, both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, but this is one for the books." In September 1990, Jackson's vehicle collided with one occupied by Larry Watkins, 45, and his wife, Roxianne, 49, on Alabama 25 near Cate's Crossing in Shelby County. The Watkinses were killed. Jackson, 33, was tested by authorities following treatment for his injuries and showed a blood-alcohol level of .215 more than twice the legal limit. According to Mr. Williams, a few days before the fatal accident, Jackson had been treated at a hospital for an undisclosed ailment. "He was told he was HIV positive, and the next day he went out, got drunk and it led to the accident that killed those two Birmingham residents sue city over fees paid private lawyers Associated Press Report BIRMINGHAM A lawsuit over the amount of money the city is paying to private attorneys could lead to the hiring of more attorneys. A lawsuit against Mayor Richard Arrington, the City Council and attorney Donald Watkins contends they violated a part of the Alabama Constitution that prohibits spending taxpayers' money for services that do not benefit the public, Mr. Watkins was paid $1.3 million last year and has billed Birmingham $365,380 for the first three months of 1992. The suit alleges that Mr. Watkins' and other attorneys' legal services "were substantially rendered for the personal individual benefit of the mayor." Three partners leave lucrative law firm By MARY ORNDORFF Staff Writer Three partners in a Montgomery law firm famous for earning large verdicts in product liability cases are leaving, but former Lt. Gov. Jere Beasley said his 13-year-old firm is still going strong. Kenny Mendelsohn and Mays Jemison bought the Springer Building across from the Montgomery County Courthouse and hope to have their own law practice operational by June, Mr. Mendelsohn said Wednesday. "We just felt like we've grown and it's time to move on," he said, dispelling rumors of a breakup of Beasley, Wilson, Allen, Mendelsohn, Jemison and James. Randall James is the third partner splitting off, but Mr. Mendelsohn said Mr. James' departure is unrelated to his and Mr. Jemison's. "They are good lawyers and good folks, and they leave with my blessing," Mr. Beasley said Wednesday. "The rumor of our demise is greatly and grossly exaggerated." Mr. Beasley and fellow founding partner Frank Wilson are left with three other partners and seven associates. Mr. Beasley's daughter Julie, who rececently took the bar examination, also might join the firm soon, he said. "I'll keep a good relationship with the people who are leaving," Mr. Beasley said. "I guess you get to a point where you feel like it's time to move on." Mr. Beasley, who served as lieutenant governor from 1971 to 1979, said he anticipates extra work to pick up the slack of those leaving. But he said the younger associates are eager and see the shakeup as a challenge. David Vickers, a former assistant attorney general, joined the firm a few weeks ago and will specialize in product liability cases, Mr. Beasley said. Mr. Mendelsohn said he will continue to work with his former firm and Mr. Beasley on some cases still awaiting trial. "This is an incredibly sad story all around. I've been involved in a lot of murder cases through the years, both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, but this is one for the books." Robert Williams Shelby County public defender people," said Mr. Williams. "It was a terrible tragedy for all concerned." Jackson, a Calera resident, did not remember any details of the collision "or even getting into his car," Mr. Williams said. "He's a weak, frail person who has had problems with alcohol in the past," said the public defender. "He told me all he remembers is waking up in the hospital and learning that two nice people had been killed." Mr. Williams said Jackson's blood test at the Shelby County Jail not only showed a high alcohol content but that he did not have AIDS. Earlier this month, Jackson pleaded guilty to reckless murder in connection with the two deaths and received concurrent 21-year prison sentences. Attorneys for two Birmingham citizens, Mary P. Chambers and Samuel F. Bowden, filed the suit Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court. "All we want to know is what $1.3 (million to $1.6 (million) a year is going for," said George Stuart, the attorney who filed the suit. Mr. Watkins has said much of what he is paid goes to other attorneys and staff employed by him. He recently refused to be interviewed. The city had planned to spend $2.78 million on both in-house and private attorneys this year until the City Council voted last week to budget an additional $400,000 to pay private attorneys. The suit asks the court to stop 832-2100 or (Federal Deposit Insurance Protected) CwMlltailllMlhmkmlUktllatolK ADJUSTA-MACIC With Tht Spring Air Bichtupporler Midrtit. iyLoHest Prices in r'T TD ii I HEALTH SCREENING; Senior Advantage Members Onfy Monday, April 27, 8:30 a.m.42 noon. ; At The Baptist Wellness Center, McGehee Place Shopping Center" This screening is for cholesterol and blood pressure ENIOR DVANTAGE You Must Pre-Register By Calling 286-3400. Jackson; who has been in jail since March 1991, will be eligible for parole in seven years and will receive credit for time already served behind bars, Mr. Williams said. , Assistant District Attorney Ferris Stephens said this week that Jackson's crime was similar to "shooting into a crowd" and added that the sentence was agreed to by both sides. "Our office is pleased with the way this matter has been ve-solved," said Mr. Stephens. "Ha (Jackson) apologized profusely a his sentencing and members of the victims' family felt the set! tlement was fair." J District Attorney Mike Campj bell had indicated prior to thi agreement that he was prepared to try the case, but consultecj with relatives of the victims, whq agreed to the guilty plea. ! Mr. Williams described his cli-j ent as "mentally impaired" anej said he did not fit the profile of a "cold, calculated, blow-'em-away! killer." j He also said if the case hadj gone to trial, the district attor-j ney might have had a "perfect argument of a man trying to com mit suicide" and could have pre-j sented a case resulting in a lift prison sentence. "The DA could have said there was intent in his actions, that he; didn't care if he lived or died because he thought he had AI DS," he said. "He could have said that he didn't care if he took anybody with him, either." city officials from "unlawfully and-or unreasonably" paying private attorneys. The lawsuit also demands that any funds paid to attorneys illegally be repaid to the city. City attorney Demetrius Newton said such suits make it difficult to cut legal fees. .', "This might be another instance where we'll have to hire outside counsel," said Mr. Newton, who is also a Democratic state representative from Birmingham. Mayor Arrington blamed the Birmingham Post-Herald for the suit. n "I haven't seen it (the suit) but I congratulate the Post-Herald in its crusade to get someone to file a suit against the city," Mayor Arrington said. , 1 - 800 - 937 - 0282 r Merrill Lynch A tradition of trust. Town, Guaranteed! Adjustable Electric Beds ne furniture ' arrows Club 2251 F:. South Blvd. 281-5051 n t!' .IB

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