Jack Wilson Remains Incarcerated; Hearing To Quash Assault Charge Fails

by | Mar 8, 2018 | Breaking News, Courthouse, Crime, Politics, Public Safety

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Jack Wilson Remains Incarcerated; Hearing To Quash Assault Charge Fails

Case Remanded For A Second Assualt Trial; The Defense Takes The Case To Alabama Court of Appeals.

The ongoing saga of Jack Wilson (and his attempt to be set free from the Cullman County Detention Center) hit another roadblock today.

You may recall that back in August of last year, Wilson withstood a jury trial on two (2) charges:

• Attempted Murder
• Assault – 1st Degree

A jury of his peers acquitted him of the Attempted Murder charge. Simultaneously, the jurors could not reach a definitive verdict on the Assault charge. This circumstance led to a hung jury.

Bentley was shot in the chest by Wilson and presumably left to die on his tractor on May 31, 2015, along County Road 109 between Bremen and Dodge City.

For background on the entirety of the Wilson case, see this report.

Rather than be set free from his already multiple month’s incarceration in the Cullman County Detention Center after the trial, Wilson has remained jailed with the likelihood of a second trial looming over his existence. The second trial would be to determine his guilt/innocence on the Assault charge.

His trial defense counsel has maintained since the August jury verdict that their client should be freed from jail, immediately.

They assert that Wilson is a victim of ‘Double Jeopardy.’ That is, they believe that Wilson’s continued incarceration is unlawful AND that he cannot be tried again for the same act that has already drawn a jury acquittal.

Wilson’s Cullman legal team of R. Champ Crocker, Anna Sparks, Thomas Carmichael and Lisa Ivey base their legal objection to their clients continued jailing on the Alabama Code of 1975 Section 15-3-8:

Section 15-3-8: Crimes punishable under different provisions

Any act or omission declared criminal and punishable in different ways by different provisions of law shall be punished only under one of such provisions, and a conviction or acquittal under any one shall bar a prosecution for the same act or omission under any other provision.”

Today at 9 am in the sizeable 3rd-floor courtroom of the Honorable Circuit Judge of the 32nd Circuit, Martha Williams, the various legal participants along with the still accused Jack Wilson convened a Motion to Quash Indictment on the still pending Assualt charge (and thus the second trial).

The State of Alabama saw Assistant District Attorney Jeff Roberts and Pre-Trial Coordinator Debra Ball conducting this hearing on behalf of JONATHAN MATTHEW BENTLEY (aka Johnny Bentley).

Crocker & Sparks defended the accused – JACK HAROLD WILSON – during this Hearing along with co-counsel Thomas Carmicheal and Lisa Ivy.

Carmicheal did the majority of talking before Judge Williams.

He presented a 20-paragraph brief to the Court explaining why Wilson should be freed. The document defined four specific areas of law that he said invalidated the accused’s continued incarceration.

Carmicheal leaned heavily on the statute mentioned above, Alabama Code Section 15-3-8.

His bottom line point was: Jack Wilson is being held in jail under the unlawful cloud of Double Jeopardy.

Carmicheal introduced into the hearing the Closing Arguments rendered by Assistant District Attorney Roberts from Wilson’s trial in August.

Roberts objected to the admittance of that document. He emphatically stated his arguments had NO evidentiary weight or meaning in this hearing. Judge Williams agreed, yet allowed the material to be put on record should a Court of Appeals, or other body, wish to see the full written record.

Carmicheal also attempted to bring the wording and context of Roberts’ Closing Argument into the Hearing. He did this multiple times under multiple guises.

Roberts objected each time repeatedly claiming that his Closing Argument had NO bearing on the hearing.

With each attempt by Carmicheal, Roberts escalated his objection to the point where he eventually lobbied Judge Willians loudly in this manner:

“Judge, respectfully, how many times are you going to let Mr. Carmicheal continue down this line of questioning. This is the FOURTH time. When will you have him sit down … and consider this a contempt of court on his part!”

Judge Williams affirmed each of Roberts objections, and under the penalty of a Contempt of Court admonishment from the Bench, Carmicheal acquiesced and selected an alternate strategy.

ADA Roberts closed his portion of the hearing by stating that Carmichael interpretation of Section 15-3-8 was:

“… I’ve never seen a worst interpretation of 15-3-8 in my 30 years in the profession of law.”

Ultimately the crucial question in this Hearing came down to an essential legal point (as does the penal fate of Jack Wilson):

Can Double Jeopardy (and 15-3-8) come into play on a single act that results in a criminal charge(s) – OR – must that single act AND the defendant’s INTENT during the act, be taken into consideration?

Judge Williams ruled in favor of the latter perspective and then placing Jack Wilson on the list for a second criminal trial, this time solely for assault.

Wilson’s attorneys filed to reinstate bond, which was denied under a previous order. He will remain in the custody of the jailers at the Cullman County Detention Center.

Carmicheal, Ivy, Crocker, & Sparks strongly disagreed with the outcome of the Hearing.

It is expected Carmichael’s legal team will appeal today’s decision with the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals.

Attorney Champ Crocker said afterward:

“A Cullman County jury found Jack Wilson not guilty. He should be freed, immediately.”

32nd Circuit Court

Jack Wilson Remains Incarcerated Hearing To Quash Assault Charge Fails

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.

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