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Filed 05/27/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Anniston Police arrest two in attempted robbery
  • Authorities investigating background of former private detective
  • Calhoun County to participate in Tax Holiday
  • Audit finds more missing school funds


Anniston Police arrest two in attempted robbery 

Anniston police say that they have arrested four people in connection with a late night robbery attempt at Regions Bank and have linked the weapons possessed by the suspects with a recent burglary of a local gun store.  18 year old Vonta M. McClellan of 13th street and 19 year old Donquese Allen of Cooper avenue have b een charged with two counts of first degree felony robbery.  20 year old Delricko Turner of Gurnee Avenue and 18 year old Demalo Jones of McCoy avenue are charged with two counts of felony conspiracy to commit a robbery.  Police say that a man and woman drove to the Regions Bank on Quintard Avenue late Sunday evening to make a deposit for a local business.  Police allege that Allen and McClellan attempted to rob the woman after she made the deposit but the woman ran back to her van got in and yelled for the driver to speed away.  Police say that the pair fired shots at the van as it sped away.    In all, police have made 16 arrests and are still trying to piece the connections together.  Police say that there are still 15 guns taken from the gun store that have yet to be recovered and they expect more arrests as their investigation continues.


Authorities investigating background of former private detective 

Officials say there are questions regarding a 42 year old Anniston man who was sentenced earlier this month on perjury charges.  Robert David Madrid was sentenced to a year in prison and fined a thousand dollars for lying about holding degrees from Harvard University and MIT.  Calhoun County District Attorney Joe Hubbard says there are still questions about Madrid and his true identity.   Madrid entered a guilty plea in February to one count of perjury.  He had initially been charged with five counts of perjury.  Madrid had worked as a private detective and had presented himself as an expert witness in court claiming he held a medical degree from Harvard and a doctorate for MIT.  An investigation revealed that Madrid never graduated from either institution.


Calhoun County to participate in Tax Holiday 

 Calhoun county commissioners say the county will participate in the statewide sales tax holiday in August.  According to commission chairman Rudy Abbott,  the commissioners cannot take action on it until July . Both the cities of Oxford and Anniston have approved the holiday and the city of Jacksonville is expected to approve it during their first meeting in June.


 Audit finds more missing school funds

     Another audit and more money found missing at Ashville High School.
     St. Clair County School Board attorney William Trussell told the St. Clair County School Board Monday that a second audit of the Ashville High School financial records has revealed a $36,000 loss from Oct. 1, 2002 to Sept. 30, 2003.
     An initial audit discovered more than $60,000 missing from the school accounts. Former Ashville High bookkeeper Amy Beard Murphree was charged, and pleaded guilty to, the embezzlement of that money and a second audit for the school was ordered. Trussell confirmed Tuesday that Murphree is also responsible for the additional missing money. The second audit was performed by Cynthia Wyatt, a forensic auditor with Warren, Averett, Kimbrough and Marino of Birmingham. This audit was recommended after Murphree was arrested and charged for allegedly embezzling more than $60,000 in school funds. She was arrested after a grand jury indicted her on three counts of second degree forgery and one count of first degree theft of property. According to authorities, the embezzlement of the $60,000 was between Oct. 1, 2003 and May 31, 2005. On May 8, Murphree pleaded guilty to first-degree theft of property and three counts of second-degree forgery in open court before St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Charles Robinson.  
     Robinson told Murphree she could face a sentence of up to 50 years in prison, and she could be ordered to pay restitution for the embezzled money. Her sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 21.


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