1 Dadeville mass shooting suspect makes court appearance

One of the six people charged in the Dadeville mass shooting this past April appeared in court Thursday for a hearing.
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 12:58 PM CDT
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DADEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - One of the six suspects charged in the Dadeville mass shooting will be tried as an adult following a court hearing.

Johnny Brown, 20, was denied youthful offender status during a closed hearing on Thursday. A continuance was also granted for the other defendants in the case.

According to Alabama law, suspects under 21 charged with a crime can apply for the youthful offender status to prevent them from receiving the same sentencing as adults.

A member of Brown’s family and the victims’ families were in attendance during the hearing.

District Attorney Mike Segrest said the hearing was full of emotion.

“Everybody’s still reeling from this, you know, school just started back here in Dadeville and other places and other communities around,” Segrest said.

Segrest said he has met with the victims’ families, answering their questions about the court process.

“I told them we’re all going to be family from here on out. This is going to be a long process,” Segrest added. “I look forward to getting to know them all personally.”

Segrest said Lexi Dowdell testified at the hearing. The shooting occurred during her 16th birthday party. Her brother died in the shooting.

“Given the facts of this case and listening to the testimony of Lexi, I mean, when she got up and described, this was her 16th birthday party, and described what she saw that night, described watching. I won’t get into the details, but just her testimony, I think, was very convincing on it,” Segrest said.

Along with Johnny Brown, Wilson Hill, 19, Willie Brown, 20, and three juveniles are each charged with four counts of reckless murder and 25 counts of assault.

If found guilty, they could face 20 years to life in prison for each of the four murder counts and a minimum of 10 years with a maximum of 20 years on all first-degree assault counts.

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