Woods set to stand trial on 6 rape charges

Published 1:11 pm Monday, January 7, 2019

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 21-year-old Vestavia Hills man is set to stand trial in February on several rape charges brought against him by multiple police departments, according to scheduling documents in Shelby County Circuit Court.


Samuel Woods III, who lists an address on Snapwood Road in Vestavia, will stand trial on six rape charges beginning on Feb. 11 in front of Circuit Court Judge William Bostick. Woods was set to appear in court for a pre-trial docket call on Jan. 8, and will appear for a plea date on Jan. 29.

“No continuances will be granted, except for extreme circumstances,” read the scheduling order.

A Shelby County grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Woods in October 2017, upholding the two most recent rape charges brought against him by the Helena Police Department in April 2017.

The indictments list offense dates of March 23 and April 6, during which 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.

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 indictments.

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

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, where he has remained since April 2017.