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Filed 05/11/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Convicted murderer jailed
  • Gadsden officers injured in scuffle with suspect
  • Legislative candidates raise funds for primary
  • Moore receives endorsement from gun group
  • Severe Weather moving thru the area


Convicted murderer jailed 

 A St. Clair County Judge has ordered that a convicted murderer be  jailed until a probation revocation hearing can be held.  St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Charles Robinson ordered that 28 year old Lonnie Dwain Brewster of Moody be held at the St. Clair County Jail without bond after he allegedly violated conditions of his probation.  Brewster pleaded guilty Jan. 13, 2005, to the murder of Dr. John William Bryant of Lincoln, who died from multiple gunshot wounds. Three other men, including two of Bryant’s sons, also pleaded guilty in the murder-for-hire plot. Under a plea agreement, Brewster was sentenced to 20 years but the prison sentence was suspended, and Brewster was given five years probation.   District Attorney Richard Minor told Robinson in court Tuesday that "Mr. Brewster got every break in the world, and the state only asked that he not appear here (in court) again,".  Minor said Brewster was arrested by Moody police on March 9 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.  Minor told Robinson that Brewster also failed to pay court ordered money and to complete a required court ordered referral program.  Two Moody police officers were in court Tuesday to testify against Brewster on the charges now pending against him but Robinson postponed the hearing because Brewster was not represented by legal counsel. Robinson appointed Pell City attorney Don Hamlin to represent Brewster in the probation revocation hearing slated for Monday, May 22. He also ordered Brewster to be held at the St. Clair County Jail. Brewster became a state witness who helped unravel the 2004 murder-for-hire plot.  Authorities say Aaron Ray Harris, who was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, shot Bryant five times with a .38 caliber revolver as he was going up the stairs in his ex-wife’s Springville home. Brewster stabbed Harris in the shoulder with a steak knife to make it look like Harris shot Bryant in self-defense. Brewster left the crime scene on foot and went to a car he left at a shopping mall. Only Harris and the younger James Bryant, who is serving a five-year sentence in prison for the intentional murder of his father, remained at the house when authorities arrived. Harris and James Bryant initially told authorities a fight broke out between James Bryant and his father. They said Harris was stabbed when he tried to intervene, and Harris shot the doctor in self-defense after he was stabbed. The older son, Matthew Scott Bryant, pleaded guilty in March for the intentional murder of his father and to one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He is serving a six-year sentence in prison.



Gadsden officers injured in scuffle with suspect 

 Two Gadsden police officers were treated for bruises after they responded to a call of a man in a suspicious vehicle on East Wilkerson Street. A man who lived nearby and saw that the officers needed help also was injured, according to police reports.  Officers Jacob Mayo, and James Smart, responded to the call about 4 a.m., Tuesday. When the 46-year-old Rainbow City man got out of the car, officers could tell he had a knife in his pockets. During a scuffle with the officers, the man pulled a .22-caliber pistol from his pants.  The officers, with help from the other man, were able to subdue the man and take him into custody. During the struggle, a 1996 Toyota Camry parked nearby was damaged.  The man was charged with third-degree assault and resisting arrest.


Legislative candidates raise funds for primary 

Local legislative candidates have been  busy raising campaign funds.  According to campaign financial disclosure statements filed with the Alabama Secretary of States office,  Sen. Gerald Dial, of Lineville, facing a primary challenge from Randolph County Circuit Court Clerk Kim Benefield, raised $73,200 from January to April.  Dial reported $225,000 on hand at the end of that period.   Dial has accused Senate President Pro Tem Lowell Barron of working against him in the Senate race. He repeated his allegations Monday, citing radio ads and mailings circulating in the district.  Benefield said the charges of outside support are “not true.” Her campaign finance report shows she raised $7,500 in April, from two donors, neither of whom is Barron.   Barron has a war chest of $711,000, but filed a waiver on his campaign finance report last week.  State Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, raised $152,000 for his campaign in a little more than three months, according to his campaign finance report. He reported having $421,000 on hand for his primary battle against former Talladega Mayor Larry Barton   State Rep. Randy Wood raised $12,200 from January to April, and has $61,000 on hand, despite the fact he has no opposition this year. Wood said Monday that he would use the money for funding charitable causes and future election challenges.


Moore receives endorsement from gun group

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who picked up an endorsement Tuesday from the Gun Owners of America, has more guns than he can count.  Larry Pratt, director of the Gun Owners of America, appeared at a news conference on the Statehouse steps to formalize the endorsement, which had been announced April 24 - the same day Gov. Bob Riley got an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. Moore, a West Point graduate, said he has a gun collection that includes shotguns, rifles and pistols.  Moore and Riley face off in the Republican primary for governor on June 6.  The Gun Owners of America, based in Springfield, Va., counts 300,000 members nationwide and considers the NRA too moderate. Moore said an endorsement will help him in a state where many voters own guns and hunt.  Pratt said Riley and Moore have good records on supporting the right to bear arms, but the organization has to look at which candidate will fight and which will be passive.

Severe Weather moving thru area
Several strong storm systems are making their way across east-central Alabama Wednesday afternoon.  Stay tuned to Alabama 810-am  for the latest weather updates.

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