Suspect arrested and charged with Columbiana homicide

Published 1:39 pm Friday, July 11, 2014


COLUMBIANA—Dennis Allen Little, 35, was arrested on July 10 and charged with the murder of Johnny Lee Patterson.



Patterson’s body was discovered at approximately 11 a.m. in a home on the 100 block of Looney Road on July 4, according to Police Chief Lamar Vick.

“On or about” July 3, Little allegedly “caused the death of Johnny Lee Patterson with a multi-tool knife,” according to court documents.

According to documents filed by the District Attorney’s office, Little was on probation for assault in the second degree in Shelby County at the time the murder took place.

In addition, Little has a “lengthy history of arrests including two felony convictions” and “is believed to be violent and poses a substantial risk to the public,” according to court documents.

“I would like to commend the actions of my officers. Within hours of the discovery of the victim’s body, we had apprehended and incarcerated the person we believed committed the terrible crime. Our investigation has led us up to this point, and it continues. There is still work to do, but we are convinced we have the right person in custody and the community at large is safe,” Vick said in a news release from the Columbiana Police Department.

Officers and investigators from the Columbiana Police, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Coroner’s Office, Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences all worked “toward the conclusion we are realizing today,” Vick said.

Little is currently in custody at the Shelby County Jail on bonds exceeding $1 million, and is charged with murder, probation violation and public intoxication.