Booby traps and explosives found after Alexandria standoff

Jonathan Singleton, Source: Etowah County Sheriff
Jonathan Singleton, Source: Etowah County Sheriff

By Dixon Hayes and WBRC Staff

ALEXANDRIA, AL (WBRC) - Booby traps, explosives and a possibly unfinished grave are just three factors that the Calhoun County Sheriff's department is adding to their investigation after a lengthy standoff outside an Alexandria home on Wednesday left two men dead.

At around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, Etowah and Calhoun County deputies arrived at a home on Gate Five Road to serve warrants on Jonathan Singleton failing to appear in an Etowah County trial on sex abuse charges, as well as a probation violation over that same failure to appear.

Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson says the man at the house barricaded himself in the home, refused to come out and at one point fired one shot. Amerson said there were numerous attempts to communicate with the man by cell phone, landline and even a bullhorn.
Deputies retreated, and response teams from Gadsden and Etowah County descended upon the otherwise quiet rural neighborhood, along with members from the US Marshalls Task Force and the Alabama State Troopers.

While securing the area, authorities did a safety sweep, and uncovered a man's body in a mobile home, apparently dead from a gunshot wound. It is still unclear how the two men are related. Outside the trailer, investigators found booby traps, apparently set to harm law enforcement. They also uncovered two explosive devices, capable of causing the trailer to explode and burn.

The scene turned even more gruesome after officers found what appeared to be an unfinished grave just outside the trailer.

When Singleton still refused to come out of the main house, officers surrounded the structure and threw two tear gas canisters through a window, and the home was quickly engulfed in flames. Later in the investigation, several firearms and an accelerant were found in the charred house, along with Singleton's body.

Both Singleton's body, and the body that was found in the mobile home were turned over to the Calhoun County Coroner's Office, according to a release from Amerson's office.

"Our first goal...was for our people to come home safe, for us to resolve this as safely as we could for all parties," Amerson said afterward.  "Unfortunately for the man in the house, we couldn't do that.  But our people used as much caution as we could."

The home actually belonged to Singleton's grandmother and he lived with her, according to Amerson.  He also said numerous gunshots were heard inside the home during the fire.

The Alexandria, Ohatchee and Weaver Fire Departments assisted in battling the blaze.  Firefighters remained on the scene with investigators until approximately 5 a.m. Friday morning. The Calhoun County EMA and Calhoun County Civil Defense assisted by providing emergency outdoor lighting. This Investigation is not complete and it will be an ongoing case.

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.