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Alabama death row prisoner gets new trial

Published 11:39am Tuesday, January 4, 2011

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

The Alabama Supreme Court has called for a new trial for Alabama death row prisoner Jimmy Lamar Killingsworth, 34, a Montevallo man who was arrested in 2004 for the slaying of a Bibb County man.

According to testimony in the original trial, Killingsworth and another man, Chilton County resident Troy Connell, followed Steven Spears and his wife, Monica, after they stopped at a convenience store in Montevallo on Dec. 10, 2004.


According to testimony in the original trial, Killingsworth and Connell fired shots into the Spears’ vehicle, striking Steven Spears, who died at the scene. They then beat Monica Spears with a chain as she attempted to escape.

The attack happened on Alabama 139 between Wilton and Randolph in Bibb County.

The Supreme Court threw out the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals’ 2006 conviction and death sentence for Killingsworth after ruling that court attorneys allowed a biased juror to serve during Killingsworth’s trial.

According to court documents, a juror in Killingsworth’s trial told attorneys she knew family members of the victims and that she could not be impartial during the trial. Despite her assertion, she was not dismissed and was allowed to serve on the jury.

“Killingsworth now argues that his right to an impartial jury was violated because, he argues, a juror who was admittedly biased sat on the jury. We agree,” read the opinion of the Supreme Court.

A new trial will be set at a later date.

  • jeralyn4313

    This is horrible!!! And certainly does not speak well of our Justice System!! My heart and prayers go out to the Spears family. They lost two members in this shooting spree!! Steven who had been loved and cherished for years and a very much wanted baby that was yet to be born!! AND you say this person has RIGHTS!! He has been tried and found guilty in a court of law..justice was served!! He is guilty and everyone knows it!! A cold blooded killer with no regard for human life and he has RIGHTS????? Will someone please explain to me how this happened!!!!

  • newzmiz

    If I am not mistaken, this is one of those death row cases that Troy King’s office stepped in to prosecute. Perhaps if District Attorney Michael Jackson had been allowed to do his job, there would have been untainted jury selection.

  • Montevallo

    This is B.S. everyone knows he done it. I went to school with the SCUM BUCKET and he was a piece of —- there also. I don’t know what is wrong with the legal system in this land but it needs to be changed. He should have already been delt with on Death Row.There is no reason to put the family thru this again!

  • momto2cutekids

    This has got to be a joke??!! He’s knows, as well as everyone else in Montevallo and surrounding areas, that he did this horrible crime! He is literally enjoying every minute of this. Our court system and government is so crooked!!! I feel sorry for the Spears family after all these years to basically have to stare from fresh!

  • tweety144

    You have got to be kidding. Killingsworth killed, Spears and beat his wife who was Preg and the laws are allowing him to have some rights, bs.He knows what he did and He was raised to know right from wrong. Why dont we old the lawyers and court responsible for not releasing the juror not making steven’s family suffer through all this again. COME ON!!! EVERYONE IN MONTEVALLO KNOWS WHO DID WHAT STRICTLY BECAUSE IT IS A SMALL TOWN.

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