MURRAY “Bubba” LAWRENCE
This is the case of Murray “Bubba” Lawrence Jr. who was convicted of capital murder in Baldwin County Alabama, May 13, 2005. He was arrested and incarcerated for 11 months 10 days, prior to conviction.
Early attempts of appeal failed when attorneys dropped the ball.
The Prosecutor was District Attorney David Whetstone, since retired. The lead investigator was Lt. Hoss Mack, currently Sheriff of Baldwin County. The Defense Attorney was Willy Huntley, who is still practicing law. The Judge was Robert Wilters, currently the District Attorney of Baldwin County.
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“I have made a deal, a deal with the devil so that evidence could be heard, so the dots could be connected. If you don’t like that deal, you come after your D.A.” - David Whetstone.
On July 31, 2003, Jarius McNeal, after 4 months in jail, implicates Murray “bubba” Lawrence Jr. in the May 6 2003, murder of Brandon Hastings of Foley, Alabama.
Brandon was the victim. A hard working young man who was robbed of his life by Jarius McNeal. By all accounts Brandon was a decent, law abiding citizen, innocently targeted by McNeal.
The murder was committed in Baldwin County, Alabama, and the body was disposed of in Mississippi, over 2 hours away, one way, from the “alleged” murder location.
In the 2200 page trial transcript, the prosecution, defense and police have testimony, to times, dates, individuals and places. An accurate timeline is established throughout the course of the 10 day trial, however no one including the jury, ever attempted to construct a written documented timeline.
Establishing a timeline before and after the crime is the most basic of basic procedures in investigation. The so called investigation, produced nothing that connected Murray Lawrence Jr. to the crime. The timeline produced from the transcript, provides Mr. Lawrence Jr. with 5 separate witnesses that testified seeing Mr. Lawrence Jr. at his home during the time the crime was committed.
The “investigation” produced no fingerprints, no weapon, no ballistics, no blood, no fiber, no DNA, no timeline, no witness to the crime, only the testimony of the McNeal. The murderer, was threatened with the death penalty.
A felony conviction cannot be had on the testimony of an accomplice unless corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the commission of the offense, and such corroborative evidence, if it merely shows the commission of the offense or the circumstances there of is not sufficient
The transcript timeline also proves that it would be impossible for Mr. Lawrence Jr. to drive the necessary time to the scene of the murder and the disposal site of the body. Had the “investigators” or prosecution done the most basic timeline they would have known it was impossible for Mr. Lawrence Jr. to drive the distance necessary, while 5 different people testified they saw him in the same time period, at his home.
This case is a travesty of justice, an example of inept police investigation accompanied by a prosecution based on fiction and creative speculation. The District Attorney and Sheriff knew the family of Brandon Hastings, who deserved justice. However justice was blinded by ego and a need for a conviction, regardless of evidence. This case exemplifies everything that can go wrong in a court of law.
For close to two years a small staff has been reviewing the trial transcript, visiting the “alleged” murder scene and the disposal site of the body. We have talked with over a dozen attorneys, which has led to Attorney Rebbeca Chambless, [email protected], coming on board, pro bono. She will be presenting the case to the Innocence Project.
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We are asking for support for Mr. Lawrence Jr. who has spent 18 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
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We are researching several potential producers that may be interested in a documentary of the case.