Teen rape suspect remains in jail after bond reduction denied

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 20-year-old Helena man who is facing six felony rape counts remains in the Shelby County Jail without bond, after his request for a reinstated bond was denied in late April.

Woods

Samuel Woods III, who lists an address on Old Cahaba Trace in Helena, is set to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court on Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m. for a preliminary hearing. Woods has remained in jail without bond since he was arrested on April 24 and charged with his two most recent second-degree rape charges.

The two April warrants list offense dates of March 22 and April 6, at which time Woods was out of jail on bond for four felony second-degree rape charges brought against him in 2016.

He was indicted on the four original rape charges – Three of which were brought against him by the Alabaster Police Department and one of which was brought by the Helena Police Department – in December 2016. His two most recent charges have been bound over to a grand jury, which will decide if it will uphold the pair of charges.

In all six cases, Woods allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a female victim who was between the age of 12 and 16 while Woods was “16 years or older and at least two years older” than the victim, according to his arrest warrants.

Woods has been in and out of the Shelby County jail several times over the past several months.

He was originally arrested on June 17, 2016, on a second-degree rape charge, and was released the following day after posting a $30,000 bond.

Woods was rearrested on another second-degree rape charge on June 25, 2016, and was released from jail on June 28, 2016, after posting a $30,000 bond. He was then arrested for a third time on June 28, 2016, and charged with two more second-degree rape charges.

He remained in jail from June 28, 2016, until his bonds were lowered through an agreement between his defense attorney and prosecutors and he posted bond on Sept. 21, 2016.

Because Woods’ two most recent rape charges came while he was out of jail on bond, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis revoked his bond and ordered he be held in the Shelby County Jail without bond.

After Woods was rearrested in April, his attorney filed a motion requesting Woods’ bond total of $90,000 be reinstated.

In the bond reduction request, Woods’ attorney claimed Woods “lives with his parents and is not a flight risk,” and claimed Woods “cannot assist his defense counsel while in custody.”

Shelby County Circuit Court judge Lara Alvis denied Woods’ bond reduction two days after the request was filed.