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November 7, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
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(MONTGOMERY) -Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction
of an Evergreen man for felony interference with custody of a child. James Leon
Windham, 67, was found guilty on Wednesday following a trial that began on Monday
in Conecuh County Circuit Court. Sentencing is set for December 5, when he faces a
potential penalty of one to 10 years and a fine of up to $15,000 for the Class C felony.
The Attorney General’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence regarding a
confrontation between Windham and the father of two children, ages 9 and 5, which
resulted in Windham taking the children. The incident occurred at the father’s
workplace, a local animal shelter. Prosecutors stated that Windham was angry because
he thought the children’s father was involved in Windham’s wife losing her job at the
shelter. Windham took the children without their father’s permission, drove away in
his car, and told them that he was taking them to get new parents. Testimony was
presented to show the children were extremely frightened. When Windham realized the
father was following, he took the children to their mother’s workplace and gave them to
her. He then went to DHR and claimed he had taken the children because their father
had abandoned them. The father was the custodial parent, with full custody of the
children. The jury deliberated less than five minutes before returning a guilty verdict.
“It is a serious crime to take children from their parents and to interfere with
their lawful custody,” said Attorney General Strange. “The defendant had no right to
do so, and now he has been called to account for his wrongful actions.”
Attorney General Strange commended those involved in bringing this case to a
successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General Stephanie
Billingslea, chief of the Criminal Trials Division; Assistant Attorneys General Leigh
Gwathney and John Hensley of the Criminal Trials Division; the Attorney General’s
Office of Victim Assistance; and Special Agents of the Attorney General’s Investigations
Division. He also thanked the Evergeen Police Department and the Conecuh County
Sheriff’s Office.

501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300