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September 17, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the murder conviction of Varney
Ray Calloway. Calloway, 58, of Helicon, was convicted in Winston County Circuit
Court in November of 2014 for the murder of Jackie Wright.

Evidence presented at trial showed the following: At approximately 8:30 p.m. on
December 12, 2012, a woman was driving home on County Road 40 in Winston County.
She observed two men behind a truck on the shoulder of the road, one standing and
holding a long gun and one sitting on the ground appearing to hold something white
and bloody. Once she arrived home, she called her neighbor who was a deputy sheriff,
and told him what she had seen.

Law enforcement officers went to the scene and found the then-unoccupied truck
parked on the side of the road. The vehicle was registered to the victim, Jackie Wright.
A blood trail from the truck led the officers toward the property of the killer, Calloway.
Officers noticed along the blood trail four .30/.30 shell casings on the ground. Officers
questioned Calloway, who first denied any involvement. Further investigation
indicated that Calloway was involved in a romantic relationship with the victim’s wife.
Upon additional questioning, Calloway finally admitted he shot and killed Wright, but
claimed he had done so in self-defense.

The case was prosecuted at trial by Winston County District Attorney Jack
Bostick’s office. Calloway was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He
subsequently sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the
appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the
conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued on Friday, September 11.

Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General Cecil Brendle
of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division for his successful work in this case.

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