Many residents of the Gulf Coast are unaware that murder carries no statute of limitation in either Mississippi or Alabama. This fact indirectly made headlines recently when Mobile police officers arrested a resident of Mobile on suspicion of having killed a man in in the city on Dec. 13, 1999.
The case began shortly before Christmas in 1999 when Mobile police found the body of a man in wrecked vehicle in the front yard of a home on Cresthaven Road on Dec. 13. Police originally believed that the man had died in the car wreck, but further investigation showed that the victim died from a gunshot wound.
The district court in Mobile issued an arrest warrant for the suspect last week, and the suspect was arrested, imprisoned and charged with murder. The Mobile police department has not released any details about how the suspect was found or the facts upon which the arrest warrant was based. Linda Tims, the chief investigator on the case who is now mayor of Mobile, said in a public statement that she was relieved by the arrest. “For twenty-one years, I have lived with the pain of not being able to provide the family with closure for the death of [the victim] which they so richly deserve.” The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned on June 16.
Despite the length of time that has passed since the crime was committed, the defendant will be entitled to all of the protections of due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Most importantly, he will be entitled to the presumption of innocence unless he offers an admissible confession. Anyone facing similar accusations may find benefit in a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can provide an evaluation of the evidence, suggest potential defenses and, if appropriate, assist in negotiating and acceptable plea agreement.