On September 6th, the court held a re-sentencing hearing for Nathan Boyd, who was convicted of the capital murder of Danny Sledge in 2001. He was sentenced by Judge Mike Jones to life without parole. All of his appeals have long since been denied, until 2012, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that when a court sentences a juvenile for capital murder, it must consider some sentence less than life without parole.
Boyd was 17 years old — four months from his 18th birthday when he participated with his brother, Eric, in the brutal stabbing and robbery of Danny Sledge at the Galley Restaurant. Danny owned the Galley and was in the process of closing the business on March 12, 1999 when Nathan jumped him from behind. Nathan and Eric, both of whom were substantially larger than Danny, over-powered him in the restaurant. He was stabbed 28 times. The knife used broke off in his back, and he died there on the kitchen floor of the restaurant. Nathan and Eric then grabbed the money bag and a bucket of coins and fled.
At the hearing this month, Nathan’s attorneys presented evidence of his childhood, including allegations of physical abuse by his father. The two-day hearing concluded with powerful testimony from Danny’s family members about the impact of the crime on their lives. We now await a ruling by Judge Self.
On September 12th, I attended the parole hearing of Dewon Jones in Montgomery. Jones was convicted in 2007 of felony murder for his role in the murder of Scott Kirtley at the Dandy’s Package Store in January 2005. He is serving a 30 year sentence. He served as the look-out for David Riley, who entered the store and stuck a gun in Scott’s face and demanded money. Scott cooperated fully with Riley, but Riley marched him to the back of the store and shot him at point blank range three times in the head. Riley is on death row.
Scott’s sister, Karrie, attended the hearing in support and honor of Scott’s memory. After hearing from Jones’ family and from me and others from the State, the board denied Jones” parole.