Mobile County sheriff shares why Alabama law ‘jeopardizes’ Chickasaw homicide investigation

Mobile County sheriff shares why Alabama law ‘jeopardizes’ Chickasaw homicide investigation

CHICKASAW, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says they have identified a suspect in a recent Chickasaw shooting death, but that Alabama law prevents them from revealing that person’s identity.

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According to investigators, the suspect in the March 26 Chickasaw shooting that left 18-year-old Evangelo Johnson dead with multiple gunshot wounds is only 17 years old.

In August 2021, an Alabama law, the Alabama Confidentiality Act, was implemented, allowing juvenile suspects to remain anonymous until after conviction, even when tried as adults.

As previously reported, the people who enforce and prosecute cases involving minors didn’t like the new rule, and Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch says that still holds true.

Although the law protects minors, Sheriff Burch says it hinders the investigation.

“I believe … that jeopardizes the community, you know, and jeopardizes the investigation (to) know we can’t put out who we’re looking for,” Burch said. “And so that stops, you know, prevents us from getting tips.

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“And, among other things, if you’ve got someone staying next door to you that is wanted for murder, it’d be a good thing to know to keep your children or call and notify law enforcement that, hey, the guy you are looking for is next door.”

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