Murder convictions upheld for Southern Union campus shooter - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Murder convictions upheld for Southern Union campus shooter

(SOURCE: Opelika Police Department) (SOURCE: Opelika Police Department)
Thomas May being arrested as WSFA 12 News cameras roll Thomas May being arrested as WSFA 12 News cameras roll
OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the capital murder and attempted murder convictions of Thomas Franklin May III on Friday.

May was convicted in March, 2014 of killing his mother-in-law, Brenda Watson, and attempting to kill estranged wife, Bethany Mitchell, on the campus of Southern Union State Community College in Opelika.

According to court documents, Mitchell was attending classes at Southern Union and did not have a vehicle. On April 6, 2011, Mitchell's mother, Watson, drove her van to the community college campus to pick Mitchell up. Also present in the van were Bethany Mitchell's grandmother, Maude Mitchell, and her 4-year-old daughter. 

After Mitchell got out of class, she was entering the van when May pulled up beside the vehicle and opened fire with a pistol. Mitchell testified in court that as May was shooting, he said she "can't keep [his] daughter from him." After the shooting, May fled the scene.

Bystanders at the campus began administering first aid to the occupants of the vehicle while others contacted authorities. 

Bethany Mitchell suffered several gunshots to her left arm and was treated at the East Alabama Medical Center. Maude Mitchell was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she was treated for her injuries. Mitchell's mother, Brenda Watson, was shot several times and died as a result of her wounds. 

May returned to the scene and was taken into custody. He gave detailed statement to police admitting to the shootings. In his confession, he stated he was upset that he was under a restraining order, which denied him access to his daughter.

May was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the capital murder conviction and an additional consecutive life in prison sentence for the attempted murder conviction. 

Copyright 2015 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • NFL teams under no time pressure to form own anthem policies

    NFL teams under no time pressure to form own anthem policies

    Thursday, May 24 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 06:32:12 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-05-25 02:42:58 GMT
    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles...(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles...

    With its popularity threatened and critics stretching all the way to the White House, the NFL tries to get past the debate over taking a knee during the national anthem but seems to muddle the issue even more.

    More >>

    With its popularity threatened and critics stretching all the way to the White House, the NFL tries to get past the debate over taking a knee during the national anthem but seems to muddle the issue even more.

    More >>
  • 'It's about time': Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

    'It's about time': Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

    Thursday, May 24 2018 1:22 PM EDT2018-05-24 17:22:19 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-05-25 02:42:44 GMT
    (Source: AP Photo)(Source: AP Photo)

    President Donald Trump had pardoned boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump had pardoned boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>
  • 12 Defenders

    Food for Thought: Bring on the ribs!

    Food for Thought: Bring on the ribs!

    Before you pick a place to dine out, find out which restaurants scored high and low in this week's county health inspections.

    Before you pick a place to dine out, find out which restaurants scored high and low in this week's county health inspections.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly