Sentence upheld for convicted Columbiana murderer

COLUMBIANA – The Alabama Court of Appeals recently ruled to uphold the 2016 murder conviction of a Columbiana man who allegedly stabbed a victim to death after an argument in July of 2014.

Dennis Allen Little, 39, was found guilty of murder after he “caused the death of Johnny Lee Patterson with a multi-tool knife,” on July 3, 2014, according to court documents. Little was arrested by the Columbiana Police Department on July 10, 2014, and held at the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling more than $1 million.


The office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall stated that Little killed Patterson by stabbing him in the neck. After the murder took place, Little allegedly attempted to cover Patterson’s body with old tires. Little was later discovered by police with Patterson’s blood on his clothing and in possession of Patterson’s bank card and cell phone.

Shelby County District Attorney Jill Lee’s office prosecuted Little at his trial. Little was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Sept. 29, 2016.

Subsequently, Little sought to have his conviction reversed through an appeal. A court memorandum stated that Little claimed that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction.

During the appeals process, the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Section argued for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm Little’s conviction.

The court ruled to uphold Little’s conviction on Friday, Oct. 6. Little is carrying out his sentence at the William Donaldson Prison in Bessemer.