FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 1
AG ANNOUNCES COURT UPHOLDS JEFFERSON MURDER CONVICTION
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the murder conviction of
a Birmingham man. Rodriquez Maurice Williams, 24, was convicted by a jury
in Jefferson County Circuit Court in January of 2010 for the murder of Jamie
Evidence presented at trial stated that Williams was with four other
people on the porch of an apartment in Kimbrough Homes, also known as the
Wenonah Projects. Williams was heard saying he was going to “get” the victim,
Hedgeman. When Hedgeman walked near the group, words were exchanged,
and sometime after Hedgeman reached the corner of the building, Williams and
another man, Cortez Towns, were seen shooting in Hedgeman’s direction.
Afterward Williams and Towns drove away in a brown Cadillac. Hedgeman
reached his mother’s apartment where he told her his attackers were in a
brown Cadillac. Hedgeman died of the excessive bleeding caused by the
gunshot wound he suffered during the attack.
The case was prosecuted at trial by Jefferson County District Attorney
Brandon Falls’ Office. Williams was convicted and sentenced to 30 years of
imprisonment, and subsequently sought to have his conviction reversed on
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, May 20.
Cortez Towns also was convicted for the murder of Hedgeman, and Towns’
conviction previously was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeals in a
decision issued on September 17, 2010.
Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorneys General
Michael Dean and James Prude of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals
Division for their successful work in these cases.
*For additional information regarding this case, a copy is attached of the
memorandum opinion of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us REL: 5/20/2011
Notice: This unpublished memorandum should not be cited as precedent. See Rule 54, Ala.R.App.P. Rule 54(d),
states, in part , that this memorandum “shall have no precedential value and shal l not be cited in arguments or
briefs and shal l not be used by any cour t within this state, except for the purpose of establishin g the application
of the doctrin e of law o f the case, res judicata , collateral estoppel, double jeopardy, or procedura l bar.”
Court of Criminal Appeals
State of Alabama
Judicial Building, 300 Dexter Avenue
P. O. Box 301555
Montgomery, A L 36130-1555
SAMUE L HENRY WELCH Lane W . Mann
Presiding Judge Clerk
MAR Y BECKER WINDOM Gerri Robinson
J . ELIZABETH KELLU M Assistant Clerk
LILE S C. BURK E (334) 229-0751
J . MICHAEL JOINER Fax (334) 229-0521
CR-09-1047 Jefferson Circuit Court CC-09-1759
Rodriquez Maurice Williams v. Stat e of Alabam a
Rodriquez Maurice Williams was convicte d of murder, a
violatio n of ß 13A-6-2(a)(1) , Ala . Cod e 1 975 , and sentence d t o
serve a term of 30 years in prison. 1 After Williams was
1Williams’ s case was consolidate d wit h the case of hi s co-
defendant, Cortez Towns. Cortez was als o was convicte d o f
murder and sentence d to serv e a term of 30 year s i n prison .
Cortez appealed to thi s Court, and we affirmed the tria l
court’s judgment i n an unpublishe d memorandum. Towns v. State ,
(CR-09-0919, September 17, 2010 ) So. 3 d (Ala. Crim . convicte d and sentenced, he filed a motion for a new trial,
which the trial court denied. Williams appealed.
At trial, the State presented the following evidence:
Rebecca Hedgeman testifie d that on November 1, 2008, her
son, Jamie Hedgeman, was shot and killed . At that time, Jamie
live d with Rebecca, his sister, and his brothers in the
Kimbrough Homes housing development, which is also known as
the Wenonah Projects. Rebecca testified that during the day
on November 1, 2008, Jamie entered the apartment where they
live d and told her that he had been shot and that the people
who shot at him were in a brown Cadillac.
Keonya Williams testified that on November 1, 2008, while
she was on the porch of her apartment in Kimbrough Homes, she
saw Williams, Montrell Towns, Cortez Towns, Christopher Gunn,
and another male hanging out on the back porch of a nearby
apartment in Kimbrough Homes. Keonya testifie d that she heard
William s say that he was “going to get that nigger,” but she
di d not know who he was talking about. (R. 119.) About that
same time, she saw Jamie walking up the sidewalk. As Jamie
walked by, she heard someone i n Williams’ s group say something
to Jamie. Jamie turned around and grinned, and then he
proceeded on his way. Keonya then saw Montrell “run down the
sidewalk around the other side” carrying a gun. Keonya
testifie d that she yelled at Jamie to warn him. Jamie turned
toward Keonya, but he turned back around and kept walking
toward his apartment. According to Keonya, as Jamie turned
back around, “the other boys that [were] on the porch, they
went i n the back door.” (R. 120.) When Jamie “hi t th e corner,
[Keonya] heard a lot of gunfire.” (R. 120.) After the
shooting, Keonya saw Williams and Cortez get into a brown
Cadilla c and drive away from the scene. Keonya never saw
Jamie or Williams with a gun.
Louann Williams, Keonya’s mother, testified that on
November 1, 2008, she was walking to the apartment in
Kimbrough Homes where her daughter lived. As Louann walked,
Jamie walked by her. Around this time, Louann saw Williams
sittin g in a Cadillac with another person. According to
Louann, as she approached her daughter’s apartment, her
App. 2010) (table).
2 daughter appeared at the door and yelled at Jamie. Louann
then heard gunshots and ran into her daughter’s apartment.
Afte r the shooting, Louann saw Williams come out of the back
door of Myeisha Williams’s apartment with a gun in hi s hand.
Louann saw Williams get into the Cadillac with some other
people, including Cortez, and drive away.
Jerr y Jones lived in Kimbrough Homes next door to Myeisha
Williams , who was Williams’s girlfriend. Jones testifie d that
on November 1, 2008, he was awakened by rapid gunfire that was
nearby. Jones testified that he heard as many as 14 shots
from three or four different guns. Jones testified that he
looked out his window and saw Jamie going back toward his
mother’s house. Jones saw Williams, Cortez, and two or three
other males get into a Cadilla c and drive away. Jones did not
actuall y see any guns that day.
Steven Davis testified that around the time of the
shooting, he was on the front porch of his apartment, which
was two doors down from Keonya’s apartment. Davis heard Jamie
and someone i n Williams’ s group exchanging “words” and “going
back and forth.” (R. 130.) Davis then saw Jamie walk into Mr.
Red’s store and come back out with a drink. Then, according
to Davis, “there was some more words said.” (R. 131.) After
that encounter, Jamie turned around and walked up the sidewalk
and around the corner. Davis testified that at that point,
Keonya yelled at Jamie and he turned around. Davis then saw
William s and Cortez shooting in Jamie’s direction.
Office r Roxann Murry, was the primary crime scene
technicia n investigating Jamie’s death. Murry collected five
9mm shell casings, fifteen .40-caliber shell casings, and a
shotgun shell casing from around the sidewalk area near
apartment 2816A in Kimbrough Homes. Officer Murry observed
defects on some of the nearby apartments where bullets had
struc k the apartments. Officer Murry also assisted Detective
Roy Bristow in recovering a 12-gauge shotgun, two .38 caliber
handguns, and a 9mm handgun from a toolshed behind the home of
Dary l Blount, who was the boyfriend of Montrell Towns’s
Office r Perry Gordon, a firearm and toolmark examiner
wit h the Birmingham Police Department, examined the shell
casings that had been collected. Gordon testified that al l
3 the .40-caliber shell casings were fired from the same weapon,
but no .40-caliber weapon was recovered for comparison.
Gordon further testified that at least three of the 9mm shell
casings were fired from the 9mm handgun that was recovered
from the toolshed behind Blount’s house and that
identificatio n of the other two 9mm shell casings was
inconclusive . Concerning the shotgun shell casing, Gordon
testifie d that i t coul d neither be identified nor eliminated
as having been fired from the 12-gauge shotgun recovered from
the toolshed behind Blount’s house.
Dr. Gary Simmons, the forensic pathologist who performed
the autopsy on Jamie, testified that a gunshot completely
severed Jamie’s right subclavian artery and damaged his right
jugula r vein. Those injuries caused Jamie to bleed
excessively , which caused his death.
At the close of the State’s evidence, Williams moved for
a judgment of acquittal. That motion was denied by the trial
William s presented the following evidence:
Terrence Johnson testified for the defense. Johnson
testifie d that on November 1, 2008, Montrell and Jamie
exchanged words near Myeisha’s apartment and then Jamie walked
away. Johnson testified that a short time later, he saw Jamie
holdin g a gun and approaching the apartment. As Jamie
approached, Johnson went inside. Johnson testified that after
he entered the apartment, “shots went off ” and he “got on the
floor. ” (R. 229.) According to Johnson, Williams and Chris
Gunn were on the floor with him and they remained on the floor
the entire time of the shooting. Johnson testified that after
the shooting, they “got to the car and left.” (R. 230.) He
furthe r testified that during the shooting, he never saw
William s with a gun, but he did see Cortez with a gun.
Johnson also testified that he never saw Jaime raise his gun
or point i t at anybody.
Myeisha also testified for the defense. She testified
that she lived in an apartment in Kimbrough Homes and that
immediately prior to the shooting, she was in the living room
of her apartment with her mother. Myeisha testified that
Williams , Cortez, Johnson, and Gunn ran into the apartment
4 warning of an impending shooting. According to Myeisha, she
and Cortez ran to the front door, and she saw Jamie
approaching the apartment. Myeisha testified that shortly
thereafter , Jamie began firing a gun at her apartment. She
state d that Cortez ran out the front door and returned fire.
Myeisha testified that during the shooting, Williams did not
leave the apartment and did not have a weapon. Myeisha
acknowledged that she had previously given a statement to a
polic e detective in which she told him that Williams was not
i n the apartment during the shooting.
Afte r the jury returned the verdict finding Williams
guilt y of murder, Williams “ask[ed] for a motion, not
withstandin g the verdict,” claiming that the State failed to
make a prima facie case of murder. (R. 361.) The trial court
denied that motion.
On appeal, Williams alleges that the evidence was
insufficien t to support his murder conviction. Specifically,
William s alleges that “[t]he State’s evidence failed to
exclude the reasonable hypothesis that someone other than
William s killed Jamie Hedgeman” and that “[t]he State’s
evidence was insufficient to prove that Williams acted as an
accomplice.” (Williams brief, at 18, 22.)
Concerning the standards governing this Court’s review of
the sufficiency of the evidence, this Court has held:
“In deciding whether there is sufficient
evidence to support the verdict of the jury and the
judgment of the trial court, the evidence must be
reviewed in the light most favorable to the
prosecution . Cumbo v. State, 368 So. 2d 871 (Ala.
Cr. App. 1978), cert. denied, 368 So. 2d 877 (Ala.
1979). Conflicting evidence presents a jur y question
not subject to review on appeal, provided the
state’ s evidence establishes a prima facie case.
Gunn v. State, 387 So. 2d 280 (Ala. Cr. App.), cert.
denied, 387 So. 2d 283 (Ala. 1 98 0 ) . The trial
court’s denial of a motion for a judgment of
acquitta l must be reviewed by determining whether
there existed legal evidence before the jury, at the
5 time the motion was made, from which the jur y by
fai r inference could have found the appellant
guilty . Thomas v. State, 363 So. 2d 1020 (Ala. Cr .
App. 1978). In applyin g this standard, the appellat e
court will determine only i f lega l evidence was
presented from which the jur y could have found the
defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Willis
v. State, 447 So. 2d 199 (Ala. Cr . App. 1983);
Thomas v. State. When the evidenc e raises questions
of fact fo r th e jur y and such evidence, i f believed ,
i s sufficient to sustai n a conviction , the denia l of
a motion for a judgment of acquitta l by the tria l
court does not constitut e error. Young v. State, 283
Ala . 676, 220 So. 2d 843 (1969); Willis v. State.”
Breckenridge v. State, 628 So. 2d 1012, 1018 (Ala. Crim . App.
“‘Circumstantia l evidence i s no t inferior
evidence, and i t wil l be given the same
weight as direct evidence, i f it , alon g
wit h the othe r evidence, i s susceptibl e of
a reasonable inference pointing
unequivocall y to the defendant’s guilt.
Ward v. State, 557 So. 2d 84 8 (Ala. Cr.
App. 1990). In reviewin g a convictio n based
i n whole or in part on circumstantial
evidence, the tes t to be applie d i s whether
the jury might reasonably find that the
evidence excluded every reasonable
hypothesis except that of guilt; not
whether such evidence excludes every
reasonable hypothesis but guilt, but
whether a jury might reasonably so
conclude. Cumbo v. State, 368 So. 2d 871
(Ala. Cr. App . 1978), cert. denied, 368 So.
2d 877 (Ala. 1979).'”
“Ward, 610 So.2d at 1191-92.”
Lockhart v. State, 715 So. 2d 895, 899 (Ala. Crim . App. 1997).
6 “With respect to th e weigh t of th e evidence , i t
i s well-settled that any ‘inconsistencies and
contradiction s in th e State’s evidence, as wel l as
[any ] conflic t between the State’ s evidence and that
offere d by the appellant , [go] t o th e weigh t of th e
evidence and [create a question] of fact to be
resolve d by the jury. ‘ Rowell v. State, 647 So. 2d
67, 69-70 (Ala. Crim. App. 1994). ‘”‘[T]he
credibilit y of witnesse s and th e weigh t or probative
forc e of testimony is fo r th e jury to judge and
determine.'”‘ Johnson v. State, 555 So. 2d 818, 820
(Ala. Crim. App. 1989), quoting Harris v. State, 513
So. 2d 79, 81 (Ala. Crim . App. 1987 ), quoting i n
turn Byrd v. State, 24 Ala . App. 451, 451, 136 So.
431, 431 (1931). ‘We have repeatedly held that i t i s
not the province of this court to reweigh the
evidence presented at trial. ‘ Johnson, 555 So. 2d a t
820. ‘”When the jur y has passed on the credibility
of evidence tending to establish the defendant’s
guilt , this Court cannot disturb it s finding.” ‘
Rowell, 647 So. 2d at 69, quotin g Collins v. State,
412 So. 2d 845, 846 (Ala. Crim . App. 1982).
Furthermore, ‘”[t]his Court must view the evidence
i n the ligh t most favorable to th e State , and ‘draw
al l reasonable inferences and resolve al l
credibilit y choices in favor of the trier of
fact.'” ‘ D.L. v. State, 625 So. 2d 1201, 1204 (Ala .
Crim. App. 1993), quoting Woodberry v. State, 497
So. 2d 587, 590 (Ala. Crim . App. 1986). ‘Any issues
regarding the weigh t and credibilit y of th e evidence
are not reviewabl e on appeal once the stat e has made
prima facie case.’ Jones v. State, 719 So. 2d a t
William s v. State, 10 So. 3d 1083, 1087 (Ala. Crim. App.
Concerning complicity, this Court has held:
“‘Alabama’s accomplice liability statute
“‘”A person i s legall y accountable for
the behavior of another constituting a
7 crimina l offense if , wit h the intent to
promote or assist the commission of the
“‘”(2) He aids or abets such other
person in committing the offense “
“‘ß 13A-2-23, Ala. Code 1975.
“‘”The words ‘aid and abet’ encompass
al l assistance by acts, words of
encouragement, or support, or presence,
actua l or constructive, to render
assistanc e should it become necessary.
Wright [v. State, 4 94 So. 2d 936 (Ala.
Crim. App. 1986)]; Sanders v. State, 423
So. 2d 348 (Ala. Cr. App. 1 982) . Actual
participatio n in the crime need not be
proved by positive testimony to convict
someone of aiding and abetting. ‘The jury
i s to determine whether the appellant’s
participatio n exists and the extent of i t
from the conduct of the parties and al l th e
testimony presented.’ Walls v. State, 378
So. 2d 1186, 1191 (Ala. Cr. App. 1 97 9) ,
cert . denied, Ex parte Walls, 378 So. 2d
1193 (Ala. 1980). Such facts as the
defendant’s presence in connectio n wit h his
companionship, and his conduct at, before
and after the commission of the act, are
potent circumstances from which
participatio n may be inferred.’
“‘Henry v. State, 555 So. 2d 7 68 , 769 (Ala. Crim.
7 r n r
“‘”Any word or act contributing to the
commission of a felony, intended and
calculate d to incite or encourage its
accomplishment, whether or not the one so
contributin g i s present , bring s the accused
withi n the statute that makes any person
8 concerned in the commission of a felony,
directl y or indirectly , a principa l No
particula r acts are necessar y to make one
an aider and abettor ; the common enterprise
or adventure may have been entered into on
the spur of the moment without
prearrangement or participation.’
“‘Scott v. State, 374 So. 2d 316, 318-19 (Ala .
“‘”‘[w]here the evidenc e i s conflictin g as
to the defendant’s connection as an
accomplice or co-conspirator, a jury
question is presented. ‘ Sanders v. State,
[423 So. 2d 348 (Ala. Crim. App. 1982 )] ,
citin g Watkins v. State, 357 So. 2d 156,
160 (Ala. Cr. App . 1 977) , cert. denied, 357
So. 2d 161 ([Ala.] 1978).”
“‘Henry, 555 So.2d at 770.'”
Peoples v. State, 951 So. 2d 755, 759 (Ala. Crim. App. 2006),
quoting Peraita v. State, 897 So. 2d 1161, 1210 (Ala. Crim.
App. 2 0 03).
In the present case, to survive Williams’s motion fo r
judgment of acquittal , the State’ s evidence had t o establis h
a prima facie case that Williams intentionally caused Jamie’s
death directly or that Williams aided or abetted another
person in intentionall y causing Jamie’s death. See ß 13A-6-
2(a)(1) , Ala. Code 1975 (providing that a person commits
murder i f “[w]it h intent to cause the deat h of anothe r person,
he or she causes the death of that person or of another
person”). In hi s brie f on appeal, Williams concedes that
Davis testified that he saw Williams shooting a gun, but
William s points out tha t Davis saw at leas t one other person
shooting a gun. Williams also states that
“the State offered the testimony of Keonya … who
state d that immediately before the shooting began,
she saw a boy, whom she coul d not identify , run down
the sidewalk with a gun. (R.119). That i s when she
calle d out t o [Jamie] to warn him. (R. 119.) At th e
9 same time she saw this boy running, she saw
Williams , who had been sitting on Myeisha’s back
porch, run into the back door of Myeisha’s
apartment. (R. 120.) She never saw William s with a
gun. Keonya’s testimony was corroborated by the two
defense witnesses who also claimed that Williams was
insid e the house at the time of the shooting, and
never had a gun. “
(Williams’s brief, at 18-19.) Based solely on those
observations of the evidence, Williams alleges that “the
State’s evidence clearly failed to exclude the reasonable
hypothesis that someone other than Williams shot and killed
Jamie Hedgeman.” (Williams brief , at 19.)
William s also alleges that the State’s evidence was
insufficien t to prov e that he acted as an accomplice because,
he says, “there was no evidence that the shootin g was other
than a spontaneous event.” (Williams’s brief, at 24.)
However, as noted earlier, this Court has held that “the
common enterprise or adventure may have been entered into on
the spur of the moment without prearrangement or
participation. ” Peoples, supra at 759.
While i t i s true that there was no direct evidence
establishin g that the shot that killed Jamie was fired from
Williams’ s gun, i t appears that Williams i s confuse d as t o th e
standards governing this Court’s review of th e sufficienc y of
the evidence. As stated earlier, “the tes t to be applied i s
whether the jury might reasonably find that the evidence
excluded every reasonable hypothesis except that of guilt ; not
whether such evidence excludes every reasonable hypothesis bu t
guilt , but whether a jury might reasonably so conclude.”
Lockhart, supra at 899. It i s undispute d that Jamie died from
gunshot wound. Keonya testifie d tha t prio r to th e shooting ,
Jamie was walkin g toward her and Williams’ s group, Williams
state d that he was “going to get that nigger.” (R. 119.)
Davis testified tha t he saw William s and Corte z shooting guns
i n Jamie’s direction, and Louann testified that she saw
William s with a gun i n hi s han d after she heard the shooting .
Also , Rebecca testified that Jamie told her that the people
who shot him were in a brown Cadillac, and more than one
witness testifie d tha t afte r the shooting , William s and Cortez
lef t the scene in a Cadillac . See Ex parte Jones, 541 So. 2d
10 1052, 1053-55 (Ala. 1989) (explaining that evidence of the
defendant’s attempt to evade justice may be presented as
tending to show the defendant’s consciousness of guilt i f the
attempt is connected with other incriminating circumstances).
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State,
we conclude that the jury could have reasonably excluded every
hypothesis except that of the Williams’s guilt. The jury
could have reasonably found that Williams intentionally caused
Jamie’s death directly or that Williams aided or abetted
another person in intentionally causing Jamie’s death. The
conflictin g evidence and the credibility of the witnesses were
matters solely for the jury’s determination.
William s also alleges that “[t]he State’s evidence was
insufficien t to prove that Williams did not act in self-
defense.” (Williams brief, at 20.) The trial court instructed
the jury on self-defense; thus, Williams is arguing that the
tria l court erred in not directing an acquittal based on his
self-defens e claim. To support that allegation, Williams
relie s on Smith v. State, 602 So. 2d 470 (Ala. Crim. App.
1992), which held:
“‘Once the issue of self-defense is raised, the
State must prove that the accused did not act in
self-defens e in the sense that the State must prove
a prima facie case of unjustified homicide.’ Ex
parte Johnson, 433 So. 2d 479, 481 (Ala. 1983). See
als o Howard v. State, 420 So. 2d 828 (Ala. Crim.
App. 1982). Thus, the State continues to have the
burden of proving all of the elements of homicide
and ‘must counter any evidence presented by the
defendant which would raise a reasonable doubt as to
the existence of one of those elements.’ Johnson at
The weight and credibility of the evidence is
fo r the jury’s determination. Id.”
602 So. 2d at 471.
Similarly , in Bean v. State, 492 So. 2d 647 (Ala. Crim.
App. 1986), this Court held:
“‘When the issue [of self-defense] is present,
11 the State must prove that the accuse d did no t ac t i n
self-defens e in th e sens e that the Stat e must prove
a prima facie case of unjustifie d homicide. However
even i f th e evidenc e of self-defens e i s undisputed,
the credibility of th e defendan t with respect to the
evidence of self-defens e i s fo r the jury , and they
may, in their discretion, accept i t as true or
rejec t it.'”
492 So. 2d a t 650, quotin g Mack v. State, 348 So. 2d 524, 52 9
(Ala. Crim. App. 1977) (citation s omitted).
In Lockett v. State, 505 So. 2d 1281 (Ala. Crim . App.
1986), this Court explained the respectiv e roles of th e tria l
court and th e jur y i n th e treatmen t of a self-defense claim:
“‘The determination … require s the applicatio n
of the well-establishe d rule, as state d i n Stat e v.
Rash, [359 Mo. 215,] 221 S.W.2d [124,] at 
Ordinaril y self defense i s i n
the nature of an affirmativ e defense, and
a question for th e jury . But whether the
state’ s evidence, which i s neithe r disputed
nor contradicted, established self defense
so as to make a killing justifiable
homicide instead of murder or manslaughter
i s a question of law fo r the court.”
“‘A further refinement of thi s rule i s foun d i n
State v. Jackson, 522 S.W.2d 317 (Mo. App . 1975) and
cases cited therein, where the cour t said, [at 319] :
“‘”… But where the evidence i s
conflictin g or of such a character that
differen t inferences might reasonably be
drawn therefrom, i t i s generall y a question
of fact fo r the jur y to determine whether
the accused acted in self-defense in a
particula r case. (cases cited) … Only
when al l th e evidence is undisputed and
clea r should a court dispose of a murder o r
12 manslaughter charge by acquittal without
tendering the issue of self-defense to the
jur y (cases cited). Rarely, then, is
self-defens e declared by law so as to bar
the submission of the homicide offense
altogether. ” (Emphasis added.)’
“State v. Thornton, 532 S.W.2d 37, 42-43 (Mo. App.
1975) (footnote omitted). Cf. Raines v. State, 455
So. 2d 967, 974 (Ala. Cr. App. 1984).
“On rare occasions, the Alabama courts have
reversed the trial court for it s failur e to direct
an acquittal verdict where the prosecution’s
evidence in presenting the evidence of the killing
als o presented undisputed evidence of self-defense.
See e.g., Bishop v. State, 23 Ala. App. 109, 121 So.
455 (1929); Simmons v. State, 22 Ala. App. 126, 113
So. 466 (1927). These two cases have been cited as
authorit y for the following general principle: ‘If
the undisputed evidence shows clearly that the
accused was in actual or apparent imminent peri l and
was unable to retreat, and there is no evidence
warranting a finding that he was at fault, he is
entitle d to have the jury instructed to return a
verdic t of not guilty.’ C. Gamble, McElroy’s Alabama
Evidence ß 457.02(7) (3d ed. 1977). See also Hamby
v. State, 254 Ala. 139, 47 So. 2d 218 (1 950 );
Thompson v. State, 37 6 So. 2d 7 61 , 764 (Ala. Cr.
App.), rev’d on other grounds, 376 So. 2d 766 (Ala.
1979) (wherein the court noted that ‘[w]here the
undisputed evidence clearly shows the victim to be
at fault, the accused may be entitled to a directed
505 So. 2d at 1284-85.
In the present case, to establish tha t Williams acted in
self-defense , there must be some evidence that Williams used
deadly physical force on Jamie to defend himself or a third
person from what Williams reasonably believed to be the use or
imminent use of unlawful deadly physical force by Jamie. ß
13A-3-23(a), Ala. Code 1975. The only evidence that could
possibl y show such a belie f is Johnson’s testimony that he saw
13 Jamie holding a gun immediately before the shooting and
Myeisha’s testimony that Jamie began firing a gun at he r
apartment. However, both Johnson and Myeisha also testified
that Williams did no t leave the insid e of the apartment or
have a weapon during the shooting; thus, their testimony
indicate s that Williams did no t use deadly physical force
against Jamie and i s inherentl y inconsisten t wit h a findin g of
self-defense . Concerning the issu e of self-defense , different
inference s might reasonably be drawn from al l th e evidence
that was presented in thi s case, and the evidence was not
clea r that Williams acted i n self-defense . See Lockett , supra.
The weight and credibilit y of the evidence, including the
credibilit y of Johnson’s and Myeisha’ s testimony, was fo r the
jury’ s sole determination. Therefore, the tria l court did not
er r in submittin g Williams’s self-defense claim to the jur y
and refusing to direc t an acquitta l based on hi s self-defens e
Finally , Williams alleges that the tria l court erred i n
denying his Batso n v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), motion.
Specifically , Williams alleges that the tria l court “erred i n
holdin g that Williams did no t make a prima facie showing of
racia l discrimination where the Stat e used ten o f it s twelve
peremptory strikes to remove African-Americans from the
venire , seven of whom had no interactio n with the cour t and/or
lawyers and had nothing in common other than their race.”
(Williams’s brief, at 25.)
According to the record, after the jur y was selected,
defense counsel for Corte z made a Batson motion alleging that
the State improperly “excluded a considerabl e number” of black
prospectiv e jurors from the jury. (3rd Supp. R. 88-89.)
Defense counsel did not giv e any other reason for th e motion.
The trial court determined that si x of the thirtee n selected
juror s were African-American. (3rd Supp. R. at 89.) Then th e
followin g exchange occurred:
“[Defense counsel]: I adjoi n [Cortez’s counsel]
i n the Batson challenge citing the reasons they
gave. Out of twelve strikes, ten were of African –
American origin. And there’s seven who were struck
who had no exchange at al l wit h the cour t and/or any
14 of the attorneys as far as questions. So, other
than based on thei r race, I don’t see a race-neutral
reason as to why they would have potentially been
struck . They didn’t have any sort of exchange at
al l with the court or wit h the attorneys.
“THE COURT: I tr y to keep very good notes during