Jury finds Pelham man guilty in triple-murder

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA—After slightly more than two hours of deliberation, a jury found Jon Ingram Staggs Jr., 22, guilty on five counts of capital murder for the 2012 murders of Simeon Gilmore, 19, Casey Cumberland, 22, and Joshua Smith, 22.

Jon Staggs Jr.

Jon Staggs Jr.

Pelham police officers found Gilmore, Cumberland and Smith deceased at a residence in the 2400 block of Chandabrook Drive on Sept. 9, 2012. Staggs was arrested later that day and charged with the shooting death of all three men.

Staggs was tried in front of Judge Dan Reeves. The jury found Staggs guilty on the charges of capital murder of two or more people, capital murder while committing a robbery and three counts of capital murder while committing a burglary.

According to the defense and prosecution, the Sept. 9, 2012, murders occurred after a night out in which Gilmore, Cumberland, Smith, Staggs and a fifth man, Jeremiah Mullins, all crossed paths at Club NV, a downtown Birmingham club. All five men left downtown Birmingham and agreed to meet at the residence on Chandabrook Drive.

Staggs made two stops at the Chandabrook Drive residence in the morning hours of Sept. 9, 2012 to retrieve $40 from Gilmore from a Sept. 8, 2012, marijuana sale. He first arrived before the victims, took several items from the home and left around 6:20 a.m. He then returned around 7:30 a.m. to steal a big-screen television from the home, according to witness Zachary Martin who spoke with Staggs shortly before his second trip to the Chandabrook Drive residence. During this second trip, Staggs encountered and intentionally killed all three victims.

In Alabama, capital murder carries a sentence of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury will return for sentencing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21.