Saturday, June 4, 2011

Noah Monroe Tidwell--Unrepentant to the End

Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May described Noah Monroe Tidwell of Leighton as someone who was no stranger to local law enforcement. Tidwell and his brothers Leon and Grover had theft and similar charges dating back to the early 1960s. After an August 1965 violent quarrel, Noah Monroe Tidwell killed his father with a single shotgun blast. In 2003, a Colbert County grand jury indicted Tidwell for the sexual assault of two female relatives, both minors at the time of the alleged crimes. Obviously Tidwell was no angel, but would the evidence show he was capable of sexually assaulting members of his own family?

Tidwell, then 62, hired Florence attorney Tim Case to represent him. At the time of Tidwell's arrest, Case stated his client was innocent, but also admitted he knew nothing of his past record. In order not to compromise the prosecution at Tidwell's trial, much of his previous record was not admitted.

In December 2004, the bricklayer was convicted on ten counts of various sex crimes against his victims and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Tidwell's family, including sister Rita Montesi, defended him. Montesi had particularly strong words for her brother's attorney Case who was at that time suspended from the Alabama Bar for violating rules of professional conduct. Montesi also had angry words for Colbert County and is now in a dispute with the county concerning the State's acquisition of property she owns on Wilson Dam Road.

In January 2005, Tidwell and his new attorney, John Taylor of Decatur, filed a motion for a new trial, referencing Tim Case's inadequate defense. The motion was denied by Judge Hal Hughston. Tidwell, an admitted long-time alcoholic, is now serving his sentence in the Hamilton facility for the aged and infirm.

Nevertheless, Noah Monroe Tidwell is not too infirm to continue filing lawsuits against Colbert County. His latest claimed an illegal indictment due to his brother sitting on the grand jury that indicted him. The brother, Freddie Tidwell, did not vote on Noah Tidwell's indictment, but did hear testimony in the case. The suit also alleged prosecutorial misconduct in not allowing Freddie Tidwell to testify in his brother's defense. A U.S. Court of Appeals denied Tidwell's claims in March 2011, but considering the former bricklayer's track record, we doubt that Colbert County or its taxpayers have heard the last of him.

Related post: Who is Rita Montesi?


Update on Sheffield Post Office: A source with the local USPS confirmed today that while Sheffield post office boxes will remain open to patrons indefinitely, the window service will not. During most days, one window will remain open, in all probability manned by the Sheffield Postmaster himself. This is progress?