Arnold pleads guilty to felony murder
by CHRIS NORWOOD
TALLADEGA COUNTY – A Troy man who was under indictment for capital murder pleaded guilty to the lesser included charge of felony murder last month, according to Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens.

Derrick Decarlo Arnold’s guilty plea was accepted by Circuit Judge Julian King, who then sentenced him to life in prison. Had he been convicted of capital murder, he would have faced either life without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.

Arnold, 33, and another man were accused killing Jerome Garrett Jr. during a robbery at Garrett’s residence in the Mill Village outside Sylacauga. Giddens said he believed the other suspect was the one who actually pulled the trigger.

This other man is currently in federal custody and has not been charged yet for his role in Garrett’s killing.

Arnold also received a gunshot wound the night of the robbery. He was treated and released at Regional Medical Center in Anniston.

He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Gadsden, along with a Talladega woman who was charged with hindering prosecution. The Talladega County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, and the Talladega County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force assisted in the manhunt.

Felony murder is defined as an unintentional killing that takes place during the commission of another felony, such as robbery.

Across the hall, Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Lisa Fay Powell, 34, to 14 counts of possession of a forged instrument, according to Assistant District Attorney Jake Argo. Powell stole checks from numerous people, including some family members, between April and August of 2012. She has additional charges pending after leaving court-ordered rehabilitation and attempting to forge more checks.

Powell was not the only person pleading guilty to multiple charges in court this week. Monday, King accepted guilty pleas to 23 counts of possession of a forged instrument in the second degree from Betty Collins Bevels, 52, and 13 counts of fraudulent use of a credit or debit card from Jeffrey Lynn Lightsey, 28, Argo said.

Also in court this week:

• King ordered a mental evaluation for Joshua Lamar English, 21, charged with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

• King accepted a guilty plea from Tyresha Lafaye Fomby, 25, to theft of property in the third degree. Fomby was indicted for theft of property in the second degree, but pleaded to the lesser offense.

• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Justin Brown, 19, to burglary in the third degree. He then sentenced Brown to 38 months in prison.

• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Steven Lenquez Hunter, 25, to receiving stolen property in the second degree.

• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Freddie Lee Darby Jr., 33, to attempted breaking into and entering of a motor vehicle. Darby was indicted for breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

• King arraigned Thomas Terrell Truss, 41, for one count each of rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, sodomy in the first degree and sodomy in the second degree. Truss pleaded not guilty to all charges.

• King arraigned Eric Roy Bowden, 42, for violation of the sex offender notification act. Bowden pleaded not guilty and said he was ready for trial.

• Hollingsworth was notified that Ruben Doyle Abernathy, 43, was ready for trial on one count each of rape in the second degree and sodomy in the second degree.

• Hollingsworth accepted guilty pleas from Brian Matthew Huey Travis, 21, to escape in the third degree and two counts receiving stolen property in the second degree.

• Hollingsworth was notified that Tameka Lashay Twyman Lee, 24, was ready for trial on the charge of the willful abuse of a child under the age of 18.

• Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Jerry William Duke, 31, for one count of possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Duke has two other counts still pending.

• Hollingsworth ordered a mental evaluation for Jimmy Dean Fomby, 23, charged with rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, sexual torture, rape in the second degree and sodomy in the second degree.

• Hollingsworth ordered a mental evaluation for Montreal Horton, 24, charged with sexual abuse of a child under 12.

• Hollingsworth accepted a plea on information from Joshua Allen Bryant, 33, to manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree and possession of marijuana in the second degree, and was sentenced to concurrent terms of five years and 365 days. Bryant was charged with manufacture and possession in the first degree, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charges. A plea on information is entered before a defendant has been indicted by a grand jury.

• Hollingsworth accepted a plea on information from Dana Michelle Bearden, 31, to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Hollingsworth accepted guilty pleas on information from Jeremy Brian Deloach, 29, to manufacture of a controlled substance in the first degree and two counts of distribution of a controlled substance. Deloach was arrested for manufacture in the first degree, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and was sentenced to concurrent 10 year terms.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2013