Chase Dearman appears on FOX10 TV WALA

FOX10: Testimony: Mobile woman lured shooting victim into van to set up robbery

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A woman charged with helping to set up a robbery that led to a fatal shooting last year lured the victim from a Tillman’s Corner motel room, a police investigator testified Tuesday.

Detective Rory Graves, of the Mobile Police Department, said surveillance video from the motel on April 26 shows Dejean Washington getting into a van driven by Maranda Shardae Gamble. He testified that a passenger in the vehicle is not visible in the video but that investigators believe it was Jermi Anrichio Adams, who is accused of firing the fatal shots.

Mobile County District Judge George Zoghby ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for a grand jury to consider indictments against Adams, 28, for murder and Gamble, 21, for felony murder.

“There’s a couple different locations involved here,” Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said outside the courtroom.

The victim and the two defendants knew one another, but the precise nature of their relationship remains unclear. Graves testified that Gamble gave conflicting information to authorities but eventually said that she overheard a conversation between Adams and someone else talking about a robbery.

Graves testified that Gamble believed the three were going to go to New Orleans first and then would return to the Prichard area but that they ended up going directly to the Plateau community. At that point, Gamble told investigators, Adams pulled out a gun and that Washington tried to grab it. She also told investigators that Adams pointed the gun at her, according to the testimony.

Police responding to Center Street and Wood Alley that evening found the 34-year-old’s body on the ground with four gunshot wounds. Graves testified that investigators found nine 9mm shell casings but not the murder weapon.

Gamble’s attorney, Chase Dearman, pressed Graves during cross-examination about whether there is any evidence suggesting his client fired the gun.

“To my knowledge, no,” the detective acknowledged.

Police put out a Be-On-The-Lookout for a van driving by Gamble, and sheriff’s deputies in Georgia arrested her during a traffic stop early the next morning. She was not charged, however. Graves testified that investigators wanted to talk to her but that she was not at that time a suspect.

Charges did not come until after police arrested Adams this month and Gamble earlier this month.

“Maranda Gamble is charged with felony murder because we believe that evidence tends to show that she intended to participate in the robbery that then led to the death of the victim in this case,” Blackwood said.

But Dearman said after the hearing that Gamble was not part of any criminal plot.

“In that car ride, my client overheard something to do with a robbery,” he said. “And she didn’t know when or how it would ever take place. They go to a place. They get out of a car. The guy pulls a gun, starts shooting and both the victim and my clients start running. And that’s the simplest of it.”

Under felony murder law, a person can be convicted if prosecutors prove that he or she was committing a crime – in this case robbery – that led to the victim’s death.

Graves also testified that text messages from Gamble’s cell phone indicate that she was in on the robbery planning. But Dearman argued that it was Adams using her phone.

Dearman sought to dispute any suggestion that Gamble was fleeing when deputies on Georgia’s Coweta County pulled her over at about 3 a.m. He said that is where his client’s mother lives.

“She was simply going home,” he said.

Original Article found here.
By Brendan Kirby
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:25 PM CST

Chase Dearman Mobile AL NYE Attorney DUI

NBC15: NYE shooter held without bond under new Aniah’s Law

MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) — The accused killer in the New Year’s Eve mass shooting in downtown Mobile will be held without bond under Aniah’s law, which aims to keep particularly dangerous and violent offenders off the streets. A detention hearing was held Thursday afternoon for Thomas Thomas, who is accused of opening fire on Dauphin Street and killing Jatarius Rieves.

A homicide detective testified 22 shots were fired that night. The call to police came in at 11:14 PM. Four officers were in the immediate proximity. In total, 10 people were shot. One of the shooting victims told the detective it sounded like a machine gun. Police testified Thomas had a 40 caliber Glock handgun with an extended clip and modified it illegally by putting a switch on it, which turns semi-automatic guns into automatic ones. Police say ballistic evidence shows he fired 16 of the 22 shots. One of those struck Jatarius Rieves in the head. Another person 23-year-old Morgan Peters fired back 6 shots. He was also critically wounded.

Surveillance video captured the shooting and moments leading up to it. Both sides conceded the incident appeared to begin with words exchanged. But the defense claims after those words were exchanged, Rieves was the aggressor, and Thomas acted in self-defense.

“He said, ‘I’m going to shoot.’ I don’t wish to cuss on the news, but ‘I wish to shoot you.’ And then when he came back, pull this up. He thought he was pulling the gun to shoot it. I mean, it’s that simple. And unfortunately, not only is he denied bond, but he’s not going to be able to get an immunity hearing until he gets to circuit court,” said defense attorney Chase Dearman.

The court room was packed, and there were some tense moments in court. The judge ordered no contact between the two sides. The Public Safety Director, as well as Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine were in attendance, which is unusual for pretrial hearings.

“This is a new law and we want to make sure certainly that the judicial system, we want to make sure that the prosecutors are understanding just how important this law is for us and certainly for Mobilians here in the city,” said Prine.

The detention hearing district court also served as Thomas’ preliminary hearing. The case will now go to a grand jury. Thomas’ defense attorney says he plans to appeal the no bond order.

Original Article found here.
By Andrea Ramey
Thursday, January 12th 2023

Mobile Alabama Wrong Way Driver Fatality to Grand Jury

FOX 10: Judge sends allegations of Mobile wrong-way driver fatality to grand jury

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A Semmes man traveling north in Schillinger Road drifted into the southbound lane and collided with an oncoming vehicle, killing the other driver, a police investigator testified Monday.

After hearing the evidence, Mobile County District Judge George Zoghby sent the homicide by vehicle charge against John Criswell IV, 22, to a grand jury to consider an indictment.

During Monday’s hearing, defense attorney Chase Dearman repeatedly pressed Mobile police investigator Wildfredo Fernandez about whether he determined if alcohol was a factor or if Criswell had suffered a medical emergency.

That line of questioning brought an objection from Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright. She noted that prosecutors have not alleged an alcohol-related offense in the criminal complaint, only that Criswell caused a death by violating a traffic rule.

“Not part of the charge,” she said. “Not relevant to probable cause.”

But Dearman pointed out that prosecutors during Criswell’s bond hearing had made a point to say that he had just left a bar on the early morning of Jan. 31.

The judge allowed Fernandez to answer a question about whether surveillance video indicated that Criswell was impaired.

“There’s no way I can tell whether he was impaired or not,” he said.

Fernandez testified that Criswell traveled about 1,700 feet from a self-storage facility to the point of impact. He said the car was traveling an estimated 58 mph. He said the driver of the other car, which was going about 39 mph, seemed to try to avoid the collision.

“It does appear she swerved because the majority of the damage, I believe, was on the passenger side,” he said.

Dearman told FOX10 News outside the courtroom that client is a law-abiding citizen.

“He’s a good young man,” he said. “He’s had steady employment, and he is well-liked and actually loved in the community. And he’s never been in trouble before in his life.”

Dearman declined to discuss whether Criswell was suffering some sort of medical crisis on the morning of the accident but faulted investigators for not pursuing that possibility. He characterized the wreck as an accident.

“It seemed very evident that they have not looked to see whether or not there was any kind of medical emergency, whether or not there was a malfunction in the vehicle,” he said. “But the officer did testify by looking at three cameras, which tracked his pattern coming down, and he did not see him driving any way erratic or anything like that.”

Original article at: FOX10

NBC: Exclusive NBC 15 Obtains Report Showing How Much Law Enforcement Seized

MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) — The state is shining the light on what’s been criticized as the secretive practice of civil asset forfeiture, where police can take what’s yours if they believe it’s tied to criminal activity even if no criminal charges are ever filed. State law now requires more transparency. NBC 15 News has obtained a copy of the first state report released showing how much and what was seized in Alabama.

“If they find cash in a search warrant, they will take it,” said defense attorney Chase Dearman.

As was the case in 2013 when Mobile Police seized $15,000 from William Anderson’s home. The state had to give it back after the Alabama Circuit Court of Appeals later found the money was “illegally obtained” because the search warrant was “improperly executed.”

“This is the United State of America. It’s called due process,” said Dearman.

Dearman is highly critical of civil assets forfeiture and has successfully fought against it. In another case, he says police seized hundreds of thousands from a drug suspect who just so happened to have also won a large worker’s compensation settlement.

“And he had it in his shoe box, and they took every bit of it despite the fact he had documentation of the source of the income,” said Dearman.

A new report that’s now mandated by law to be published shows Alabama last year seized $4.8 million. District attorneys and the arresting agencies keep all of it. The report also shows 470 weapons were seized, 94 in Mobile County alone. That was the highest of any county in the state.

“It’s a very important law enforcement tool that can be used to protect the public. I don’t think anybody wants a drug dealer to profit from what he’s doing,” said Baldwin County District Attorney Robert Wilters.

Wilters has a very simple counter to critics of civil assets forfeiture.

“If we can’t prove our case, we don’t win. We don’t get it,” said Wilters.

Wilters also believes more transparency with reports like this will lead to less distrust of law enforcement.

“The only way we can do that is get the facts to the public,” said Wilters.

To view the full report, click here.

WKRG: Case against Ladd-Peebles Stadium shooting suspect moves forward

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The case against the teenager charged in the shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in August is moving forward.

17-year-old Deangelo Parnell was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. Parnell is charged with nine counts of attempted murder.

A Mobile Police Detective testified that one of the victims identified Parnell as a shooter. The detective also said surveillance video showed Parnell firing shots.

Ballistics show two guns were fired from two separate locations. The other shooter has not been found.

Parnell’s lawyer argued that police cannot prove that his client shot any of the victims. The detective said police are awaiting ballistics to come back to show who was shot with what weapon.

The judge decided there is enough evidence in the case to send Parnell’s case to a grand jury.

The shooting happened following the LeFlore-Williamson game on August 30. Police say the shooting stemmed from a fight. Nine people were injured in the shooting.

Parnell’s lawyer also asked the judge to reconsider bond. Parnell’s bond is now set at $405,000. If he makes bond, Parnell will be under electronic monitoring. Parnell is not to carry a weapon of any kind. He is also not to have contact with any of the victims.

Federal Drug Charge

Civil Asset Forfeiture in Alabama: Blurred Lines

Officer Jimmy Bailey accompanied by Officer Carlos Watson entered the residence of Mr. William Anderson with a search warrant and seized in total, $15,140 found in Mr. Anderson’s boot wrapped in a plastic grocery bag and a digital scale on Feb 27th 2013. The two Mobile City officers arrested and charged Mr. Anderson with distribution of a controlled substance based on an investigation carried out by the two officers.

According to Officer Bailey, William Anderson testified that the money seized was from pushers who sold marijuana for him. In addition to that, $10,000 of the seized money was to be used to purchase additional marijuana to sell.

However, in a testimony during trial, William Anderson said he did not remember the conversation concerning the $15,140, with Officer Bailey. Although Bailey said that he had recorded the conversation with Mr. Anderson, there was no record of it admitted into evidence as it had not been submitted to the Defense counsel, Mr. Chase Dearman of the Dearman Law Firm.

Although the State of Alabama vs. William Anderson did go to trial, this isn’t always the case in a state touted as having the worst laws in the United Stated when it comes to civil asset forfeiture. It was also aptly named Policing for profit. Under the civil forfeiture practice, officers could seize a residents’ private property and in most cases, not charge or convict the property owners with any crime. Owners can and usually do permanently lose their property without being guilty of any crime.

Under civil forfeiture, it is not the owners that are guilty; it is the property that is guilty until the owner can prove that it is not. The basis of it is simple while at the same time being mind boggling. If an officer of the law has preponderance of the evidence that suggests your property was used or will be used in a crime, the officer may confiscate it. To that end, the State of Alabama vs. William Anderson case is unique as it lists the owner as the defendant when really, civil forfeiture cases list the seized asset as the defendant as in $3,011 in United States currency vs. the State.

This brings to the fore, not only the credibility of such a law but why it is so common place. By law, officers are not required to be accountable for how much they seize. In Alabama, law enforcement can keep 100% of all seized assets and that creates an enormous incentive for even more aggressive seizures based on more flimsy reasons. In Williams’ case, no drugs were actually found at his residence. Given this kind of incentive and the level of unaccountability, the laws that govern civil asset forfeiture might remain a grey area. In 8 years, from 2000 to 2008, the state of Alabama received more than $40 million in unaccounted equitable sharing proceeds, with figures fluctuating. Federal forfeiture law doesn’t make it any better with equitable sharing. Under the arrangement, state officials can hand over forfeiture prosecutions to the federal government and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds — even when state law bans or limits the profit incentive. In the same 2000-2008 period, equitable sharing payments have doubled to $400 million. Seized assets can be sold off by law enforcement agencies, and with the figures not showing up on any audit reports, the proceeds from seizures are used to fund purchases that are in no way related to law enforcement, as in the case of a Texas police station that used monies from seizures to buy margarita machines.

While the initial precedent for the set up of civil asset forfeiture was to cripple large scale criminal entities by diversion of resources in the war on drugs, law enforcement agencies have flipped the law on its head, making it a cash cow that most residents would rather not follow up on as lawyer fees for the procedures for the legal regaining of the seized property is too costly, most times exceeding the value of property. For residents like Williams Anderson the cards have been stacked too high against them.

However, there is hope. In William Anderson vs. State of Alabama, the defense challenges the authority of Officer Bailey and Officer Watson to conduct a search and seizure operation, as Officer Bailey had not been deputized by the sheriff, which would give him authority to conduct the search citing United States vs. Martin, 600. F.2d 1175 (5th Cir 1979) “a search pursuant to an Alabama warrant executed by a municipal officer in cooperation with county sheriff’s deputies was valid even if the deputies were present merely to legitimate the search” In this case, the warrant was not issued by a district court judge, not a municipal judge, and it was directed to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

It is also interesting to note, that Officer Bailey, during trial did admit that the residence of Mr. Anderson did not exist within his Mobile city limits jurisdiction.

The appeal judge, Judge Thomas brought to the light the illegality of the practice during the appeal hearing when he said, “…Officer Bailey’s reliance on what appears to be an illegal practice of the Mobile City Police Department is not reasonable in light of the statutory directive of section 15-5-7 that a search warrant be executed by the officer to whom it is directed or at his or her direction and in his or her presence.”

He continues, reversing the judgment of the trial court and remanded the cause to the Mobile Circuit Court for entry of a judgment that conformed to that opinion, adding that since the currency seized at Mr. Anderson’s residence was illegally obtained, the currency could not form the basis of a forfeiture action.

With Alabama among some of the states with the worst civil forfeiture track record, a number of reforms have been suggested by the Institute of Justice.

  • Law enforcement should be required to convict people before taking their property
  • Forfeiture revenue must be placed in a neutral fund, therefore police and prosecutors are not paid on commission.
  • Assets that have been seized should be accounted for.
  • Equitable sharing be abolished.
  • Providence of a lawyer to owners challenging asset forfeiture.
  • Placing the burden of proof on the government to prove the owner is involved in or aware of criminal activity.


ALABAMA COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS – William Anderson v. State of Alabama Appeal from Mobile Circuit Court (CV-13-900819) –

Asset Forfeiture Abuse –

Brendan Kirby(June 2015) When cops seize money or property in Alabama, it’s owner’s burden to prove he’s innocent –

John Kramer (March 2010) Alabama Earns “D” In “Policing for Profit” Report –

Chase Dearman of the Dearman Law Firm is a Mobile, Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

(251) 445-6997