Man serving 99 years for murder asks judge to overturn sentence

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, October 7, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 26-year-old Birmingham man who is serving 99 years in the Alabama Penitentiary for shooting and killing Alabaster resident Jonathan Williams in 2011 recently penned a letter to Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves asking him to overturn the sentence.



The letter was filed in Circuit Court documents in early June ­– a few weeks after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the murder conviction of 26-year-old Daveon Lamarnce Cathey, and a little more than a year after Cathey’s request for a new train in Shelby County Circuit Court was denied.

Cathey was convicted by a jury in March 2014 of shooting and killing Williams at Williams’ house in Alabaster in September 2011. Before sentencing Cathey, Reeves said Cathey killed Williams to “gain an advantage in illegally selling drugs,” and said Cathey has “shown no expressions of remorse.”

Cathey has maintained he is innocent in the crime.

During Cathey’s sentencing hearing, Williams’ sister, Jennifer Williams, said her brother’s death had a profound impact on her family, and said her brother’s children will grow up without their father.

In his handwritten letter to Reeves, which was sent from the Kilby Correctional Facility in Mt. Meigs, Cathey asked Reeves to lessen his sentence and allow him to return home.

“This environment I am now housed (in) is terrible! I’ve actually changed my outlook and perspective on life going through this situation, and it’s sad!” Cathey wrote, adding several of his family members died while he was incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail. “In prison, it’s hard but I push forward to stay away from trouble and focus on my goal and going home to take care of my sisters.

“It’s terrible, Mr. Reeves. It’s so many evil spirits in here and confused people in here, I just can’t cope with it,” Cathey wrote.

Cathey said he is “ready to live like an honest, hardworking citizen and not an animal,” and asked to be released from prison to see his sisters.

“I’ve shedded so many tears and looked back at so many moments in my life I could’ve changed,” Cathey wrote. “Please give me another chance at life, to have a honest job, to be with my family I have left, to have kids, please.”