Judge sentences Carroll to death
by David Atchison
ASHVILLE — A St. Clair Correctional Facility inmate was sentenced to death Tuesday morning.

Circuit Court Judge Phillip Seay upheld the unanimous recommendation of 12 jurors and sentenced Taurus Jermaine Carroll to death for the capital murder of fellow inmate Michael Darrell Turner.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Linda Turner of Montgomery, the victim’s mother, said after the sentencing hearing. “Justice was served.”

On Sept. 14, 2009, Carroll stabbed Turner multiple times with a makeshift prison knife, accusing the victim of stealing his contraband cell phone. Turner later died.

According to court testimony, Carroll gave a detailed account of the murder.

“He expressed no words of remorse,” Seay said as he read his sentencing order from the bench.

Carroll was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after he was convicted of capital murder in 1997 in Birmingham.

“Carroll was a convicted murderer who killed again,” St. Clair County Assistant District Attorney John DeMarco said. “He has demonstrated that he is not safe around others, even when locked behind bars for life. This is the type of individual for whom the death penalty exists in our criminal justice system.”

Seay ordered that an automatic appeal be filed in accordance with the laws of the state of Alabama.

He appointed local attorney Randall Richardson to represent Carroll in the appeal process.

“We feel very confident that the case will be affirmed by the appellate courts,” DeMarco said.

Several family members of the victim were in court when Seay read his sentencing order.

Carroll declined to make any statements last week during his pre-sentencing hearing. He showed no emotion when the judge read his sentence of death Tuesday morning.

Defense attorney Don Hamlin, who represented Carroll during the criminal trial, declined comment after Tuesday’s hearing.

“It will give me and our kids closure,” said Cedria Dixon of Montgomery, the mother of the victim’s two children.

She said the two children are taking the loss of their father badly, “especially his son.”

DeMarco said Carroll is currently housed at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville but will now be transferred to one of two prisons in Alabama that house death row inmates.

He said Carroll will be transferred to either Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore or Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer.

“We are glad that this sentence brought some measure of justice to the Turner family,” DeMarco said.

In September, it took jurors less than 10 minutes to return a guilty verdict of capital murder against Carroll. It took another 25 minutes of deliberation for the 12 jurors to unanimously recommend to the judge a sentence of death, instead of life without parole.

“It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the defendant, Taurus Jermaine Carroll, is hereby guilty of both Count 1, capital offense of murder while having been convicted of murder within 20 years preceding the capital offense, and Count 2, capital offense of murder committed while he was under sentence of life imprisonment,” Seay said Tuesday. “Furthermore, it is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that the defendant, Taurus Jermaine Carroll, is sentenced in both Count 1 and Count 2 to death at a time and date to be fixed by the Alabama Supreme Court in a manner prescribed by the laws of the state of Alabama.”

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2012