19th Judicial Circuit hands down 16 convictions in last 2 months
AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - The 19th Judicial Circuit, which covers Elmore, Autauga and Chilton counties, has secured 16 convictions in child abuse, rape and sodomy cases in the last two months.
Currently a dozen similar cases are waiting to go before a grand jury in 2016.
A capital murder conviction in Chilton County, resulting in the death penalty, was handed down to James Osgood and is said to be one of the most heinous cases tried this year, and possibly in the circuit to date.
"It was just terrible what they did to that poor victim," District Attorney Randall Houston said.
Another case involved former Stanhope Elmore teacher Jeffrey Stanton, who was convicted of having sexual contact with a student.
Other notable cases on the docket include a shootout between Millbrook police and teens reportedly breaking into a home, and a 78-year-old woman who was shot during a home invasion. The two suspects allegedly involved are stacked with felony convictions.
"Our concern is if we let them out on a low bond, they will be back committing crimes again in other counties," Houston explained.
It's been a task to keep suspects behind bars due to the state's low bail schedule. For convictions, the state's Prison Reform Act has changed the landscape of sentencing violent offenders to prison.
"They have created a monster that will not allow us to put people in prison. Crimes you would have gone to prison for 20 years ago, we aren't going to be able to do it," Houston said.
Hallee McLeod, accused of brutally abusing her young son, is scheduled for a bond hearing later this week.
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