West Alabama prosecutor sounds off on violent start to New Year in Tuscaloosa Co.

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:15 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA CO., Ala. (WBRC) -A rough start for Tuscaloosa County in the new year; five homicides less than a month into 2023.

We’ll talk about the numbers first. Of those five homicides for 2023, three of them took place within the Tuscaloosa city limits.

The most recent one we all know by now is the high-profile case involving the alleged killing of 23-year old Jamea Harris. In that case investigators charged University of Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and 20-year old Michael Davis with capital murder.

District Attorney Hays Webb says he can’t stop the violence and neither can the police, but that it will depend largely on the community to say, “enough is enough.” Webb says at some point, the community is going to have to step up and simply say this not acceptable.

“I think the greatest thing we can do is create within the community an expectation that we will not stand for this and instead of stigmatizing law enforcement but instead stigmatizing the people out here endangering our community and the number of times we have witnesses who are unwilling. We’ve got cases coming up, it is not uncommon that we have to dismiss cases, not because of lack of evidence but because we have a failure of witnesses coming forth to assist us in the prosecution. When we sit around and allow the defendant and the people in the community to go out and engage in this gunplay that endangers so many and to minimize that conduct, instead of we will not stand for this.” said Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Webb. “Until that happens, I don’t think anything is going to change whatsoever.”

With those five homicides now on the books, Webb says this adds to the burden of his office. For example, Webb says his eight felony lawyers have 500 felony cases a piece, but keep in mind not all of those felony cases are murder cases.

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