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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
After there being no updates since April 26 while waiting for the judicial process to unfold, on Wednesday afternoon the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency shared its twelfth update via a press release regarding the indictment of the five individuals arrested in connection with the April 15 shooting in Dadeville.
Ultimately, the indictment includes a total of 145 counts among all five suspects. Sgt. Jeremy Burkett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, or ALEA, said that additional charges were added for the other victims, not just those who were killed that tragic night.
“Given the magnitude of the event and number of victims there are a multitude of charges listed in the indictment, which include charges for all five of the individuals arrested,” Burkett said. “We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.”
On Monday, May 22, the Tallapoosa County Grand Jury east of the Tallapoosa River Division (Dadeville) reconvened at the request of District Attorney Mike Segrest by order of the presiding Circuit Court Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit of Alabama, the Honorable Isaac Whorton.
On Monday an indictment was reported to Judge Whorton and read in open court regarding the shootings that occurred in Dadeville on April 15 at a 16-year-old’s birthday party.
As a result, the five individuals previously arrested and charged for the reckless murder of the four fatalities have been indicted on those charges, as well as new charges for the surviving individuals who were also shot. Those charged include 20-year-old Willie Brown, 19-year-old Johnny Brown, 19-year-old Wilson Hill, and two juvenile defendants, ages 16 and 17, previously identified as Travis McCullough and Ty Reik McCullough.
The 145-count indictment that was true billed by the Grand Jury lists all five defendants and includes charges of reckless murder for the four deceased (a total of 20 counts of reckless murder), 24 counts of first-degree assault for the 24 individuals who suffered penetrating gunshot wounds (a total of 120 counts of first-degree assault) and one count of third-degree assault (a total of five counts) for the individual who suffered a superficial gunshot wound.
If found guilty, the individuals charged face a possible sentence of 20 years to life in prison for each of the four fatalities and a minimum of 10 years with a maximum 20-year sentence on all 24 counts of first-degree assault.
Among the 25 victims who were tragically shot and survived is 37-year-old Latonya Allen, who is the mother of both 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell, who was fatally injured, and 16-year-old Alexis Dowdell, whose birthday was being celebrated. The 24 remaining victims range in age from 14 to 19 years old.
In the state of Alabama, individuals charged with a felony must first have the charge presented to a Grand Jury to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed to trial. It is not a final determination of innocence or guilt, and all individuals charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
District Attorney Mike Segrest would like to give a special thanks to all agencies involved that have assisted, including ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI); Attorney General Steve Marshall and staff; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force; Chief Jonathon Floyd and the Dadeville Police Department; Sheriff Jimmy Abbett and the Tallapoosa County Sherriff’s Office; and all the other law enforcement agencies and first responders that answered the call that night and have supported the Dadeville community, as well as the investigation.