Montevallo shooting suspects, Helena man facing Alabaster robbery charges

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Two suspects in a recent Montevallo shooting and a 23-year-old Helena man are facing felony first-degree robbery charges after police said they were involved in an October armed robbery in Alabaster.

Gutierrez

Gutierrez

Alabaster police arrested 23-year-old Helena resident Michael Antonio Laforty on Feb. 1 and charged him with one count of first-degree robbery and also brought new robbery charges against Maylene resident Terry Christopher Searcy and Alabaster resident Kevin Valladares Gutierrez on Jan. 27.

Searcy

Searcy

Gutierrez and Searcy were being held in the Shelby County Jail on charges related to a Jan. 20 shooting in Montevallo when the new charges were brought against them.

Laforty

Laforty

In the Montevallo incident, Searcy and Gutierrez allegedly were attempting to steal marijuana from a man living in the Falcon Manor Apartments when Gutierrez allegedly shot and seriously injured Helena native Lauren George.

Gutierrez and Searcy were arrested by the Montevallo Police Department on Jan. 22 and charged with felony counts of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery.

According to their arrest warrants, Laforty, Searcy and Gutierrez also allegedly were involved in a similar robbery in Alabaster on Oct. 31, 2013.

During the Alabaster incident, the three men allegedly stole marijuana from an Alabaster man while Gutierrez was armed with a revolver. No injuries were reported in the Oct. 31 incident, according to court documents.

Gutierrez and Searcy are scheduled to appear at the Shelby County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 20, while Laforty is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 27.

As of Feb. 4, Laforty was being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $60,000 bond, Searcy was being held on a $151,100 bond and Gutierrez was being held on a $150,000 bond.

According to Alabama law, first-degree robbery is a Class A felony and first-degree assault is a Class B felony. If convicted, the suspects could face up to 20 years in prison for the assault charges and between 10 and 99 years in prison for the robbery charges.