Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 14, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Saturday, February 14, 2009
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Guilty on all counts
Woods convicted of capital murder in restaurant killings
By Karen Middleton
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated just three hours to return a unanimous guilty verdict Friday against defendant Jamal Woods for capital murder in the shooting deaths of Tanquer-ay “Tank” Beavers,
21, and Thurston Turner, 27, both of Athens.
Woods also was found guilty of attempted murder for the wounding of Tory Rogers of Athens, and guilty of first-degree assault for the wounding of William Reliford of Hazel Green.
The shootings took place Dec. 17,
2006, at T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in Huntsville.
Assistant District Attorney Don Rizzardi said in 18 years on the DA’s staff he had never seen a more unusual case in that the accused had opened fire in a crowded restaurant full of witnesses.
Family members of all of the victims thanked Rizzardi and Shauna Barnett, also with the DA’s office.
The sentencing hearing will be at 9 a.m. Monday at the Madison County Courthouse. The state expects to call four witnesses in the sentencing phase despite it being a federal holiday.
Defense attorney Alan Mann said he was disappointed with the verdict but he knew going in it was an uphill
See Guilty, page 3A
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Local high.school basketball teams continue their quest to make the trip to Birmingham for the state playoffs as area tournament play continues.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Ringling Brothers brings greatest show to Huntsville's Von Braun Center Feb. 26-March 1.
Man critical after leaping from vehicle
An Elkmont man was in critical condition Friday in Huntsville Hospital after jumping from a moving truck Thursday night over a previous argument with his wife, an official said.
Richard Carl, 41. was the passenger in the vehicle and his friend told the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department his friend jumped out of his truck shortly before 10 p.m., said Limestone County Sheriffs Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.
Emergency medical workers were called to the scene of a man lying on the side of the road, bleeding from his head, McNatt.
“He had been drinking pretty heavily,” McNatt said. “He and a friend had been to a club and he had been kind of upset because he and his wife had a previous argument.’
The friend told investigators he was able to prevent his friend from trying to jump from the vehicle earlier in the night as they were driving on the interstate, McNatt said. The friend told investigators he slowed liis • vehicle to 15 miles per hour on New Garden when his friend opened the door and jumped out. Investigators ruled out any foul play.
— Jean Cole
Teen charged with abuse of schoolmate
A 14-year-old boy is being held in the Juvenile Detention Center at Tuscumbia after being charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl at a Limestone County school, an official said.
The boy, whose name has been withheld because he is a juvenile, is accused of following the girl into the lobby of the new gym at Tanner High School, touching her breasts and buttocks and attempting to kiss her on the face and neck, said Limestone County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Stanley McNatt. The girl reported the abuse, and Limestone County School Deputy Jonathan Hinton, a school resource officer, investigated the matter and made the arrest, McNatt said.
The boy had made comments to some other girls but actually touched this girl, McNatt said.
— Jean Cole
Zing, zang, zoom
Tank Beavers, above left playing ball for Athens High School, died instantly at age 21 from a gunshot fired by Jamal Woods on Dec. 17, 2006. Thurston Turner, above right, playing at Tanner High School, died nine days after the shooting from a wound to his face. He was 27. Woods was convicted Friday of capital murder.
Nothing beats a Valentine
from a friend
Kindergarten students in Lauren Falciani's class at Cowart Elementary look in their Valentine bags Friday at the school. Above, Emily Dunn reacts with delight at her goodies while at right, Makiyah Thatch grins while checking out her stash of chocolates and treats. Children all over Athens and Limestone County celebrated on Friday the 13th with parties and games since Valentines Day falls on Saturday.
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