Afternoon news update

Judge looks to hurry up sheriff versus commission case

Even though the attorneys want to extend the hearing, Judge Joseph Boohaker is determined to finish the Jefferson County Sheriff versus the Jefferson County Commission case by Tuesday morning. Judge Joseph Boohaker told attorneys in the case to "speed it up" on Monday morning. Both sides of the courtroom had earlier indicated that the case would take most of this week, but Judge Boohaker says he wants to hear from the "budget people" and "wrap it up" due to earlier commitments. Boohaker says that the case really boils down to three things: 1) Is the county following a statute that is constitutional? 2) Is the county properly following the statute? 3) Is the county being capricious in its decision making? Taking the stand on Monday will be Captain Dennis Berry followed by Commissioners Jim Carns and William Bell. Commissioner Bettye Fine Collins is not expected to attend due to illness.

Katopodis denied bond while waiting for sentencing

Former Jefferson County Commissioner John Katopodis will not be released on bond while waiting for his sentencing in October. Katopodis was found guilty on all 97 counts of mail and wire fraud for using money intended for a computer charity for children. A judge told Katopodis today that he did not meet the burden of proof to be released and it is up to Katopodis to prove he is not a flight risk. A parole officer testified that after inspecting Katopodis' Birmingham home that it was not clear if he was really living there. During the trial, the judge found it was not clear whether Katopodis lived here or in Boston.

Four men shot in Birmingham

A shooting investigation involving four men is underway in Birmingham this morning. Police say the men were shot in the 7700 block of First Avenue South. It happened shortly after 6:30 last night. Police say the victims all began running away from the unidentified shooter. Two of the shooting victims made it to a Chevron Station where they called police. Three victims were taken to UAB Hospital for treatment. None are life-threatening injuries. A fourth victim refused treatment. Birmingham police say they do not know what motivated the shootings and have not been able to get a good description of the suspect.

Sheriff's deputies arrest robbery suspect

Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man for an armed robbery at the BP convenience store on Highway 78 over the weekend. They found Justin Bice at a house on Second Street South. Deputies recovered all of the money and investigators say they are sure Bice is their man because they found a trail of money from his car to the door of his aunt's house. Bice faces charges of first degree robbery and is suspected in another robbery last march.

Birmingham teen charged with attempted murder

A Birmingham teen is charged with attempted murder after driving a van straight at three Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies trying to get him to stop. The deputies identified the teen as Jeffrey Lloyd Grant. A 14-year-old girl was found with a gunshot wound at the same scene. She is in stable condition. Deputies responded Sunday to reports of a fight involving a large group of teenagers and possible shots fired.

Three charged in death of Escambia County couple

Three people have been charged in the murders of a wealthy Escambia County couple. Police say Wayne Coldiron, Leonard Gonzalez, Sr. and his son Leonard Gonzalez Jr. shot Burd and Melanie Billings to death while their children were sleeping. The couple had adopted 12 children with developmental disabilities and other problems. Authorities expect more arrest and are looking into multiple motives.

Flooding causes trouble in Ensley

Flood waters in Ensley are giving residents a headache. On Monday morning, torrential downpours caused Village Creek to flood into several streets. Some cars have been partially submerged. The rains caused heavy flooding on Avenues U, V, and W. Some streets that were covered in water have already gone down significantly. Public works crews are now in the area working to get flood waters down and picking up downed trees. Citizens say that more rains could cause trouble in the area.