Paving the way for justice

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

&uot;It’s not supposed to happen here.&uot;

It’s a common reaction to crimes that shock communities &045; that disrupt their ordinarily peaceful and comfortable existence.

But a terrible crime did happen in Columbiana recently when 80-year-old Willie Ree Sutton was stabbed to death in her home, a little house sandwiched between the Columbiana Middle School and Shelby County Sheriff’s office.

If any place should be safe &045; immune from such horrors &045; it should certainly be there.

But yellow police tape now surrounds the yard where children with bookbags skip and trample their way home on fall afternoons.

And Columbiana is still coming to terms with the shocking tragedy.

Although the community will continue to grieve for Ms. Sutton and her family, residents can rest a little easier knowing that an arrest has been made for her murder.

The Columbiana Police Department wasted no time getting to the bottom of the crime.

But Chief Michael Lann said they couldn’t have done so without the help of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

In a time where many law enforcement agencies let egos and competition get in the way of cooperation, its comforting to know that Shelby County’s law enforcement can work together to pave the way for justice and make our community safe