Saturday, February 28, 2015

James Travis Murks Left Her Lying Dead In A Ditch

Shortly after we published yesterday, we received a communication from a regular reader. Her cousin had been found lying dead in a ditch just across the Tennessee state line. Our blog had just advised women to leave their abusive boyfriends; no, we don't have too much hope that this advice will fall on receptive ears, but if it helps just one...

Kimberly Johnson was 36 (We are using the name she used on Facebook). The Killen resident was a Bradshaw High grad and had two sons...and a psychopathic boyfriend. James Travis Murks is a long time Lexington resident who is now residing in the Loretto, Tennessee, area. Murks is no stranger to law enforcement.

In August 2013, Murks and his then girlfriend Jennifer Rhodes were arrested in a Lawrenceburg motel room with more drugs than a pharmacy. One month later, Murks presented at the ECM emergency room with several gunshot wounds. He told authorities that he and an unidentified woman had been attacked while changing a tire between Anderson and Grassy just outside Lexington. No one was ever arrested in the shooting, and authorities doubted Murks' account of the altercation.

Now James Travis Murks has run down his current girlfriend, leaving her to die in a ditch. According to Johnson's Facebook page, she divorced her husband in August 2014. By October she was in a new relationship; whether with Murks or someone else we don't know. We do know that the pair quarreled yesterday morning and he allegedly struck her with his Chevrolet S-10 pickup. Investigators stated both the front end of the truck and the windshield suffered extensive damage. In other words he didn't exactly slow down before he hit her.

Lawrence County, Tennessee, is holding Murks without bond. The charge of First Degree Murder in Tennessee can bring the death penalty. Too bad the executioner won't be using a monster truck...


Friday, February 27, 2015

Jason Dewayne Green Cops A Plea

Jason Dewayne Green, indicted in the shooting death of his girlfriend Shay Ledlow, has accepted a plea in Franklin County. The plea allowed Green to avoid murder charges; it also allowed him off the hook on four felony theft charges related to his Russellville salvage business.

Green will face Judge Terry Dempsey in 30 to 45 days. Dempsey can sentence Green to as much as 20 years, but we doubt that he will. Let's hope Green has to do more actual time than two years.


Ladies, if he hits you once, he will hit you again...or shoot you the next time and say you committed suicide. We here at Shoalanda don't know why Shay Ledlow returned to live with her abuser. No matter the reason, it cost her her life.


We understand the meeting concerning disenfranchising Florence voters in the Lauderdale County superintendent's race was sparsely attended; however, it seemed the consensus was Phillip Pettus' inane bill will not get out of committee. One attendee did want to know whom Pettus was shilling for. We do too.


A reader asked the definition of "drug trafficking." This seems to state it succinctly:

(a) This section shall be known as the "Alabama Drug Trafficking Enterprise Act." For purposes of this section, a person is engaged in a criminal enterprise for the purpose of trafficking in illegal drugs if that person violates any provision of Section 13A-12-231, and such violation is:
(1) Undertaken by such person in concert with five or more other persons with respect to whom such person occupies a position of organizer, a supervisory position, or any other position of management, and
(2) From which such person obtains substantial income or resources.
(b) For purposes of this section, "substantial income" means any amount exceeding the established minimum wage, as established by law.
(c) Any person who engages in a criminal enterprise for the purpose of trafficking in illegal drugs shall be punished as follows:
(1) Upon the first conviction of violation of this section, he shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years or for any mandatory term of calendar years up to and including life without parole and to a fine of not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $500,000.00.
(2) Upon the second conviction of violation of this section, he must be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment for life without parole and to a fine of not less than $150,000.00 nor more than $1,000,000.00.
(3) In no event shall the term of imprisonment or the amount of fine imposed under this section be less than the corresponding term of imprisonment or fine authorized in Section 13A-12-231, for the underlying violation of that section, including application of the Habitual Felony Offender Act, as determined by the type and amount of the particular illegal drug involved.
(d) The courts of Alabama shall have jurisdiction to enter such restraining orders or prohibitions, or to take such other actions, including the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, in connection with any property or other interest subject to forfeiture under Section 20-2-93 as they shall deem proper.
- See more at:

We don't know the specifics in any current local cases. We can say that from previous arrests and trials, it's usual to have these transactions on audio and video tape--more or less a slam dunk unless the accused can produce an evil twin.

It does bring up the case of John Wesley Akin. He's facing trafficking charges in Lauderdale after being convicted in Morgan on similar charges. Does he qualify for "Life Without?" We're guessing he doesn't since he had not been convicted in Morgan before being arrested in Lauderdale. It will be interesting to see if Akin will accept a plea and to learn his ultimate fate.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meeting on Phillip Pettus' Theft Proposal Tonight

Theft proposal? Yes, Pettus wants to steal suffrage from the voters living within the City of Florence. The interesting thing is that we've had several e-mails from county residents against this and not one in favor. This would seem to be a hobby horse for Pettus, and we would dearly love to know just who has influenced him.

Tonight there will be a meeting at 6:30 at the Lauderdale School Board office to accept comments from citizens on this less than desirable plan. While Pettus represents most of Lauderdale, including Florence whether he wants what's best for that city or not, other Lauderdale representatives are Lynn Greer, Marcel Black, and Johnny Mack Morrow.

The weather is cold, and some roads still icy. We're nevertheless hoping that there's a substantial turnout against this half-baked attempt at placing the county school superintendent in someone's pocket.


From a reader:

For the last two days, the TOP STORY for the state of Alabama has been about Alaska.  I've sent messages, commented to the paper about this  but nothing has changed.  I'm wondering if they know that Juneau is not in the state of Alabama. Alaska is not the only state featured under state news.  I read each article to see if they have information pertaining to Alabama. Sometimes they do, but most of the time the other state's news should be under "Nation". I'm thinking of applying for the job to do the posting.  At least I know geography. Thank you for your blog.

We've mentioned this here and on Facebook. We can only say that trying to get a correction from the TD is tantamount to asking PresBO to actually use the words "Islamic terrorists." Of course, we once read in the Daily Mail that Harper Lee is from Monroeville, Alaska. Must be a conspiracy.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Personal Reponsibility?/Roger in Charge?

All you drug traffickers out there, don't worry. If you don't take responsibility for your actions, the local, state, or federal government will place it at your feet anyway.

From a reader on indicted drug trafficker Brady Ann Irons:

Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan and Mark David Chapman haven't killed anyone in decades. Maybe some of your readers would like us to release them all from prison. After all, we wouldn't want to be judgmental about people who made a mistake years ago.


Speaking of responsibility, just how are a 15 year-old and a 16 year-old roaming around the southeast planting various theft devices on ATMs?  There would seem to be much more to this story.


So just how would Roger Bedford (Ol' Blindy, as King Cockfight called him) be working for retired school teachers if he works for the AEA? Their pension is handled by the state retirement system, isn't it? But of course Roger would never mislead us.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow, If You Get My Drift...

Five inches in Lauderdale, six inches in Colbert/Franklin? Well, we did see a dead groundhog by the side of the road this weekend--obviously someone decided to take revenge.


We understand a member of the Andrasik family contacted Tom Smith concerning his one-sided reporting on Hershel Graham's murder trial. Smith replied he hadn't been there, he was just reading a transcript. Funny transcript that didn't include the prosecution's case...


Speaking of Graham:

We'll update his whereabouts from time to time.


Are you a non-custodial parent with visitation problems? Whatever your situation, you should be very interested in this organization:


Huntsville Public Library
915 Monroe Street
Huntsville, AL 35801


Today's blog title we took from a Mr. Moto book. A little bit of 21st Century trivia: A recent Jackie Kennedy bio relates that the son of Mr. Moto creator John P. Marquand took the future first lady's virginity in an elevator. Ahh, the romance of Camelot...


Monday, February 23, 2015

Hershel Graham & Tom Smith

Today Hershel Dale Graham reports to jail, to be taken later to Kilby Prison for processing, and then to his final destination which he hopes to be the Hamilton unit for the aged and infirm. Wherever he goes it will be too good for him.

Before killing a young husband and father, Graham was known in the Golden, Mississippi/Red Bay, Alabama area as someone who had shot his stepfather, a man who beat a girlfriend and dared her to report it, someone who fed his dogs gunpowder to make them mean, one who prayed to Satan, and most tellingly someone who once said he wanted to drive down the streets of Red Bay killing the innocent.

Graham will probably come out of prison more healthy than he went in. He won't balk at the prison food, but it won't be enough for him, so he'll lose weight. He'll be forced to receive treatment for his health conditions. He'll also probably be near his parents who will visit him regularly.

David Andrasik's family also visits him regularly--in the cemetery. Life isn't fair, and neither is our justice system.


Tom Smith?  Most of you know Tom Smith. He's called a senior writer at the TimesDaily. He covered Graham's trial and appeals. We don't know if Smith knows the Graham family or if he somehow identifies with Graham. We do know he has continually reported that witnesses said David shoved Graham.

Yes, three witnesses did testify to that "fact." They were Graham's father, son, and son's girlfriend. Three witnesses for the prosecution stated that David didn't touch Graham and that he had even tried to leave before being called back. These three were two neighbors of Graham and a Red Bay school teacher who was passing by and stopped at the scene of the altercation. Whom should we believe?

The Franklin County Times reported all these facts. Why didn't Tom Smith?


We really like to learn new things, and yesterday we learned that if someone commits the crime of drug trafficking and then stays "clean" for eight months, he/she should get off totally free. Really?

We have no idea what Brady Ann Irons has told her friends and family about her arrest last year for drug trafficking, but she was indicted last month. The indictment was reported last week, so yes it is NEWS.

Yesterday we published an account from one of Irons' theft victims. We had found it moving. Irons posted it was "ridiculous." No, Irons did not apologize, but not one of her supporters seemed to notice that. If she hasn't been arraigned, she will be shortly. Trafficking in any drug carries certain minimum requirements. She can't plead to a lesser charge, nor will she get good time or parole if convicted.

One of her supporters suggested we look at her Facebook page to see that she was reformed. We have no idea what that was supposed to prove, but we did look. What did we find?

Sorry, Wes. It seems you've been replaced since November. Don't worry too much; if she's convicted we're pretty sure the new boyfriend will soon find someone to replace her.


Roger Bedford to run the AEA?  Now there's a scary thought.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Readers Speak on Phillip Pettus & Brady Ann Irons

From a reader on Greg Burdine & Phillip Pettus:

GREAT GREAT GREAT article on Greg Burdine. I had serious doubts when Greg was first elected but he showed up and proved me wrong too. He was truly a very caring and concerned Representative and not just in Florence but for the entire Shoals area and beyond. I never went to an event or meeting where he was not there. I never called or reached out to him in an email or phone call that was not returned, which is something that would be hard to say about any other candidate or political office holder around. 

The whole "straight party voting" trend is probably the worst thing that could happen in a political race. Not ALL of one party is great and not ALL of another party is bad. Not all democrats have the same views as Obama. I once read an article back in 2005 that was titled "Obama: Not Your Daddy's Democrat" which hit a cord with me. No, Obama was not my Daddy's Democrat at all but like many Alabamian's my Dad was raised a democrat and always voted democrat. I was raised democrat and as I have grown older have realized that there are good democrats and there are good republicans. There are also bad representations of both parties. Which is why I never vote a straight party ticket.

 No one ever should in my opinion but that is everyone's decision to make on their own. In this day and time, it is YOUR responsibility to educate yourself on just about every subject matter, not just politics. You decide which doctor to trust. You decide which brand of car to buy. You decide which school system is best for your kids. You decide which route is best to take to get to work. You decide which brand of shoes to wear. So why would you take an opportunity to choose who you want to represent you on a state, county or city level and just say "oh give me all of them folks right there?" Would you not want to look at each match up individually and decide which one best matches up with your beliefs or ideas? 

I'd like to run for office but as a lifelong democrat, I would feel obligated to run as a demo. As a person who has common sense, I can't run as a demo and win because of the straight party voting and because of this non-sense that all demo's are aligned with the Obama way of thinking. I can't run as an independent and be taken seriously. So, many really good people/candidates often do not run at all. That is how you end up with the Phillip Pettus' of the world. In a normal election back in the day, he would not have stood a chance in hell of winning an election. Same thing with a guy over in Madison County named Wayne Johnson. Mr. Johnson was elected in 2010 when the big change occurred all over our state. When the good people of Madison county realized they had elected an idiot, they quickly found a replacement and Mr. Johnson lost his bid for re-election in 2014 by another Republican.

I am sure this happened all over the state between 2010 and 2014. Prior to 2010, no one would have believed it could be done. Afterwards, its a new day in our great state. Now, I am not "outing" Phillip Pettus. So far, every time I have contacted him, he has returned my call or email. I have high hopes that he will do a good job for us in Lauderdale County or at least attempt to do good. And don't even get me started on the idiot Tea Party people. Just their name alone sounds like a bunch of little girls sitting around sipping on a fake beverage in a tiny cup, PRETENDING to be something they are not. Speaking of common sense, if we would stop fighting amongst ourselves here in America, we would get a whole lot more accomplished.


From a victim of Brady Ann Irons, moll to alleged heroin kingpin John Wesley Akin and indicted along with Akin on multiple Lauderdale drug charges in January's grand jury session :

Irons Pictured in a Social Profile & Five Mug Shots Through the Years

That addiction caused her to steal my purse and all my honeymoon pictures that were stored on my brand new camera! Both sets of keys to my car which caused me to have to get my car towed to Huntsville to have a new one made and pay for a rental car for a week. That addiction caused her to have no conscious and return any of it after she stole the money. She sold my iphone for $50. Maybe some time in jail will help break her 'addiction' that causes her to do terrible things to innocent people.

Editor's note: Irons is also wanted on an outstanding warrant from Southaven, Mississippi.