Sunday, July 3, 2011

Now's the Time to Remember Harold & Joey Pugh

If you lived in this area in the late 1990s, you know who Harold and Joey Pugh were. If you don't know their story, here's a synopsis that features the crimes of Donald Ray Risley:

“Donald Risley, one of Ferguson's codefendants, testified at Ferguson's trial and corroborated most of Ferguson's statement to police.   Risley's wife and Ferguson's wife were first cousins, and Risley had been friends with Ferguson for approximately eight years.   Risley testified that Ferguson had approached him and asked him if he wanted to get involved in the plan to rob banks to get some ‘easy money.’  (R. 510.)   Risley stated that Moore and Maxwell were the ‘leaders of the group.’  (R. 514.)   Risley, like Ferguson, testified concerning the circumstances surrounding the murders at Cane Creek and the bank robbery in Belmont.   Risley testified that on the afternoon of the murders, Ferguson picked him up at a friend's, Daryl May's, house and that he and Ferguson then went to Maxwell's apartment.   From there, Risley said, they went to Cane Creek where they saw the victims' truck parked at the boat landing.   Risley stated that he was armed with a .357 pistol, that Maxwell had a 9mm pistol, that Graham had a Colt .45 pistol, and that Ferguson was carrying a .357 pistol.   Testifying to essentially the same facts as Ferguson did concerning how they approached the Pughs and ordered them into the boat, Risley further testified that Maxwell and Ferguson got into the boat with the victims and Maxwell drove the boat downstream.   Risley said that the victims were sitting in the back of the boat, while Ferguson was standing near the front and was pointing a gun at the Pughs.   Risley testified that neither he nor Ferguson [was] threatened into robbing the Pughs and that no one threatened Ferguson to get him to get into the boat.   According to Risley, when Ferguson and Maxwell returned in the boat, approximately 10 minutes after they had left, neither victim was in the boat and Ferguson was sitting on a pedestal-type seat in the front of the boat.

“Risley continued to testify to the events that occurred after the murders up until the time of the robbery of the bank in Mississippi.   Risley testified to essentially the same facts as did Ferguson in his statement to police.   Risley stated that Ferguson took the pedestal-type seat out of the boat and put it in the truck because, Risley said, Ferguson was afraid that he might have touched it and left his fingerprints on it.   Risley also stated that while he was at Cane Creek, Ferguson never appeared to be sick or upset, and he never saw Ferguson throw up.   Risley further told police that several days after the murders, Ferguson, in response to Risley's question whether he had shot the Pughs, said that he had and further told Risley that he and Maxwell had shot them because they did not want any witnesses.   Ferguson also told Risley that he shot Harold Pugh and that Maxwell shot Joey Pugh. Maxwell, who was also present during Risley's and Ferguson's conversation about the shooting, told Risley that Harold was not dead after the first shot, so he shot him again and he made Ferguson shoot Joey again.

From DK:

There is a Parole hearing coming up July -13- 2011 for one of the defendants for the murder of Joey and Harold Pugh..."Donald Ray Risley", his release date will be 8-9-2012. I understand some Elected Officials from Colbert County are writing letters of Protest, and others may not - saying he only has another year before being turned out, we say he does the full amount of Time Sentenced for his part in this !!

In order to protest Risley's parole, please write:

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
South Ripley Street
PO Box 302405
Montgomery, Al 36130-2405
Telephone: (334) 353-7771, 353-8067
FAX: (334) 242-1809
TDD: (334)242-0110
Re: Donald Ray Risley, AIS# 200233


We have received information form Ronnie Pannell that there are in fact only five victims of the low-head dam on Cypress Creek. Again, this is five too many. Let us stress that we do not believe in the Nanny State, and feel each individual has a right to make choices; however, they should be informed choices, and our government should not create machines of death for its citizens.

Please join others who wish to save Cypress Creek from both the dump and the drowning machine at the weir. There will be a regularly scheduled Florence City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday July 5th at the old Municipal auditorium. A work session will precede the meeting at 3:00 p.m. Please be there to support these two causes.