By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Patrick O’Neal Warren has already been such a repeated menace to the people of Alabama that he has earned himself a life sentence in a state penitentiary. Now investigators with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s Cold Case Unit has identified additional crimes that Warren may have committed.
AG Luther Strange and Jefferson County DA announced in a written statement that Mr. Warren has been indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury for two accounts of first degree rape, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of sodomy, and one count of first degree arson in two violent sex crimes that occurred in December 2008 and March 2008.
Mr. Warren is already serving a robbery sentence for attacking an Anniston woman and robbing her at knife point of her money and her car. Warren pleaded guilty to that charge. Since Mr. Warren was a repeat offender with two prior felony convictions, he was subject to Alabama’s Habitual Offender Act thus received a life sentence in that case which he is currently serving. In 2001 he pleaded guilty to first degree rape in Jefferson County. Unfortunately for the Anniston woman he robbed in 2006, Alabama has long chronically underfunded it’s state prison system so lacks a sufficient number of prison beds to keep very dangerous felons like Mr. Warren locked up for more appropriate periods of time.
The current charges against Mr. Warren case are being prosecuted by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Warren has been served notice of the new indictments against him. The grand jury returned the indictments on July 13th.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Cold Case Unit is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and is conducted in partnership with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The Unit investigates violent crimes that have been closed for a lack of investigative leads.
Special Agents with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office were the lead investigators on this case. They received valuable assistance from the Bessemer, Birmingham, and Anniston Police Departments.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All it means is that the prosecutors presented enough evidence to the grand jury that the jurors believe there is sufficient cause for a criminal trial. The defendant is presumed to be innocent under our current legal system until a jury rules that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.