Etowah Co. man receives 8 life sentences for shooting at law enforcement officers

Etowah Co. man receives 8 life sentences for shooting at law enforcement officers
Etowah Co. crime scene. (Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC)

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - An Etowah County man has been sentenced to eight life terms for firing on law enforcement officers nearly three years ago.

Arnold Ray Battles of Boaz was convicted on eight counts of attempted murder against law enforcement officers.

Arnold Ray Battles.
Arnold Ray Battles. (Source: Etowah Co. Sheriff's Office)

Agents with the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit, Marshall County Drug Unit, Boaz Police Officers and the FBI executed a search warrant on Battles at 100 Pleasant Hill Cutoff Road.

Battles was convicted in October of the attempt on taking the lives of FBI Safe Streets Commander William Strunk; Etowah County Drug Task Force Agents Steve Guthrie, Robert Sims, Jeremy Lasseter, Kevin Hassell and Randall Johnson; and Boaz Police Officers Justin Drake and Matthew Brannon.

Battles was wounded in the ensuing gunfire and recovered at UAB Medical Center.

After the sentence from Etowah County Circuit Judge Cody Robinson, District Attorney Jody Willoughby released the following statement:

“We feel very strongly that the imposition of the maximum sentences in these cases reflects the overall seriousness of the intentional attempts by Battles at taking eight lives of the brave men and women who put on a badge daily to ensure the safety of our community. The sentences imposed today further represent that those who act in such a manner, will be held accountable for their actions. While, thankfully, no officer was physically wounded during the attack by Battles, there will remain a lifetime impact on the lives of each officer and his family.”

Willoughby says the sentences were consecutive.

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