By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, a man was gunned down in Montgomery.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler warned that this was worse because the victim appears to have been murdered for cooperating with authorities.
Zeigler, in a statement, said the victim was killed while leaving the courthouse. He called the situation “extremely concerning.”
“Many witnesses are already reluctant to talk to investigators and to appear in court,” Zeigler said. “With the killing of a witness leaving the courthouse, that reluctance could increase, especially if the defendant and friends are known to be violent, which is often the case. It may be that protection is needed for witnesses. Even that protection will not keep witnesses from being afraid to become involved. Investigating and prosecuting crime depends on witnesses willing to come forward and tell what they saw. If good citizens become even more reluctant to testify, criminals will be emboldened and prosecution will become even more difficult. The courthouse-area killing was much worse that just one more murder in Montgomery.”
According to original reporting by the Alabama Media Group’s Jonece Starr Dunigan, Kelvin Cooley, 31, was shot dead in his car which was parked outside the Montgomery County Courthouse at around 5:00 p.m. on Monday. This was reportedly only 10 minutes after Cooley was testifying on the first day of the trial of Jacquees Boone. Boone allegedly shot Cooley’s brother, Alondre, in the face in March 2014. Kelvin Cooley died at the hospital on Tuesday.
Law Enforcement Officers have arrested Boone’s 25-year-old brother, Josephus Boone, for Monday’s slaying of Kelvin Cooley. Josephus has been charged with capital murder.
Jacquees Boone had been convicted for shooting Alondre Cooley; but the Alabama Supreme Court threw out the conviction, necessitating the second trial.
Following the assassination of Kelvin Cooley, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Roman Shaul granted a defense motion asking to declare a mistrial in Jacquees Boone’s trial. The judge ordered Jacquees to be held without bond in connection to the slaying of Kelvin Cooley.
Alondre Cooley’s other brother Marcus Cooley was shot to death in August. Marcus was also supposed to be a witness in Jacquees’s trial. Some of the jurors are reportedly upset after Monday’s events.
Zeigler lives about four blocks from Monday’s shooting. He is a retired attorney and has been exploring possibly running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. He may also run for another term as auditor.