Grand Jury indicts suspects in Dadeville slaying

Published 5:42 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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A Tallapoosa County Grand Jury has indicted five suspects on charges related to an April 15 Dadeville mass shooting.

The jury reconvened at the request of District Attorney Mike Segrest by order of presiding Circuit Court Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit of Alabama, Isaac Whorton on Monday. An indictment was read in open court regarding the shooting at a teen’s “sweet 16” birthday party which left four dead and 32 injured.

After hearing the charges, the jury indicted the five individuals already arrested on charges of reckless murder and on new charges for the surviving victims who were injured. The individuals charged are – 20-year-old Willie Brown, 19-year-old Johnny Brown, 19-year-old Wilson Hill, and two juvenile defendants, Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17 and Travis McCullough, 16.

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“Given the magnitude of the event and number of victims there are a multitude of charges listed in the indictment, which include charges for all five of the individuals arrested,” said Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Sergeant Jeremy Burkett.

A Wednesday release issued by the ALEA outlined the charges, noting 145 total counts included in the indictment. Among them were a total of 20 counts of reckless murder, four for each of the five defendants. In addition, the indictment spelled out 24 counts of first-degree assault for the 24 victims who sustained penetrating gunshot wounds – adding up to 120 counts of first-degree assault. One count of third-degree assault was added for the five individuals who suffered superficial gunshot wounds.

“If found guilty, the individuals charged face a possible sentence of 20 years to life in prison for each of the four fatalities and a minimum of 10 years with a maximum 20-year sentence on all 24 counts of First-Degree Assault,” the release read.

Among the 25 survivors is Latonya Allen, 37, mother to both Philstavious Dowdell, 18, who died in the shooting, and Alexis Dowdell, 16, whose birthday party guests celebrated when the shooting took place.

According to the release, Alabama mandates that individuals charged with a felony must first have the charge presented to a Grand Jury to determine whether probable cause warrants a trial. The Grand Jury’s indictment does not determine guilt or innocence. All parties charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Segrest extended his gratitude Wednesday, thanking ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), Attorney General Steve Marshall and his staff, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chief Jonathon Floyd and the Dadeville Police Department, Sheriff Jimmy Abbett and the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, and all the other law enforcement agencies and first responders for their part in answering the call the night of the shooting and their support during the investigation.