Homicide cases connected to Madison expected for trial in Limestone County this year
LIMESTONE COUNTY — About a dozen murder cases are awaiting trial in Limestone County, and District Attorney Brian Jones wants to resolve as many of those as possible this year. Some of them center on incidents that happened in Madison or involve Madison residents.
“We’re trying to get as many homicide cases resolved as we can, with our limited resources and shortness of staff,” Jones said. “That’s our goal. We’re going to do the best we can.”
Prosecutors are talking to victims’ families in an effort to work out trial scheduling for the rest of the year, Jones said. The trial of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, who was indicted on theft and ethics charges, is scheduled to begin March 9, and that case could present an issue for scheduling. Retired Colbert County Circuit Judge Pride Tompkins was appointed to the case, in which the longtime sheriff has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“To some degree, that’s going to affect some of our scheduling,” Jones said.
Pending cases connected to Madison are:
- Aaron Raynard Jones, 19, of Ensley, and Jakobe Carter, 20, of Phenix City, face capital murder and other charges. Madison police accused them of beating to death of Van Johnson, a 61-year-old construction worker found dead behind a Madison Publix in Aug. 2017. Jones and Clark, who had escaped the same day from Sequel TSI Madison, known as Three Springs, on Browns Ferry Road, are being held in Limestone County Jail without bond.
- Trevor Davis Cantrell, 22, and Dacedric Deshun Ward, 25, both of Madison, were charged with capital murder and first-degree robbery for the Dec. 26, 2016, fatal shooting of Jason Ender West, 18, of Madison, outside the Sonic restaurant on County Line Road in Madison. An investigation into the incident determined West was shot during a robbery related to a possible illegal narcotics transaction, Madison police said.
- Limestone County Sheriff’s Office investigators say an alleged dispute over drugs and a revolver led to the fatal shootings of two men in Aug. 2017 in eastern Limestone County, and Jacob Gideon Copeland, 21, of Madison, was charged with two counts of capital murder in the slayings. Copeland is accused of killing Damian Blake Ricketts, 21, of Hazel Green, and Devin Edward Richard, 22, of Huntsville.