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October 13, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange today presented the 12th
annual Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Summit, carrying on a tradition that was
begun in 2000 by former Attorney General Bill Pryor. More than 650 law enforcement
officers from throughout Alabama had registered to attend and receive practical
information and professional training, with a primary focus on sentencing and
incarceration concerns. In addition, Attorney General Strange also presented an update
on activities of the Attorney General’s Office since he took office in January. A somber
highlight of the day came with the commemoration of fallen officers who lost their lives
in the past year. The 2011 summit was held in Birmingham.

Attorney General Strange welcomed law enforcement officers and discussed the
event’s theme. “Our state faces a crisis in how to effectively manage the sentencing and
incarceration of the growing numbers of criminals. Justice demands that these criminals
must be punished and that our citizens must be protected. We are honored that many
who are at the forefront of this difficult issue have agreed to share their experience and
wisdom with us here today.”

This year’s conference featured a series of presentations from experts that
included the following: “The Truth about Alabama’s Ability to Punish Criminals,” from
Bennet Wright, Executive Director, Alabama Sentencing Commission; “The Role of the
Sentencing Commission, Establishing Honesty in Sentencing,” from Judge Joseph
Colquitt, Chairman of the Alabama Sentencing Commission; “Cutting Prison Growth,”
from Rep. Jerry Madden of the Texas State Legislature; “Department of Corrections
Update” from Commissioner Kim Thomas; “Emerging Threats to Public Safety,” by
Laurie Wood of the Intelligence Project, and “What’s Next in the Legislature?” from
Barry Matson, Deputy Director, Alabama Office of Prosecution Services. A panel
discussion titled “The Revolving Door: Local Initiatives that Work” was moderated by
Steve Marshall, District Attorney for the 27th Judicial Circuit, with discussion from
Judge J. Michael Joiner of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals; Gary Knight,
Director, Houston County Community Corrections; and Captain Jimmy Milton,
Director of Baldwin County Community Directions.

In addition to the above topics related to sentencing and corrections, the
conference included a presentation from Director Spencer Collier of the Alabama
Department of Homeland Security about the status of Alabama’s immigration law. This
law designates the Department of Homeland Security as the agency to make rules for its
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300
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enforcement and to coordinate with state and local law enforcement the practices and
methods required for its enforcement. The role of the Attorney General’s Office
regarding the new immigration law is to represent State of Alabama defendants in
litigation that is ongoing. Therefore, inquiries about the law’s enforcement are properly
directed to the Alabama Department of Homeland Security rather than to the Attorney
General’s Office.

Attorney General Strange introduced to law enforcement officers the leaders of a
professional and experienced team he assembled in January who have been committed
to investigate and prosecute public corruption and other crimes with integrity and
dedication. These include Chief Investigator Tim Fuhrman, a long-time veteran of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief Deputy Investigator Jesse Seroyer, whose career
included many years in the Attorney General’s Office previously as well as a term as
U.S. Marshal in Montgomery; and Assistant Attorney General John Gibbs, who
returned to the Attorney General’s Office to again head the Public Corruption and
White Collar Crime Division. He commended the officers gathered at the summit for
their heroic acts as first-responders to protect their fellow citizens and assist their
communities when tornadoes devastated parts of Alabama last April.

The Attorney General honored law enforcement officers who gave their lives
during the last year with the presentation of memorial flags for families of the

Officer Trevor Scott Phillips, Tuscaloosa Police Department
On May 21, 2011, Officer Trevor Scott Phillips was killed in the line of duty
while escorting a funeral procession when a vehicle in the procession abruptly
made a u-turn in front of his motorcycle. At the time of his death Officers
Phillip was assigned to the traffic division where he had worked since July 2007.

Officer Phillips was a veteran police officer with 10 years and seven
months of service; he was also a member of the Tuscaloosa Police Department
Special Response Team. He was 42 years old.
Officer Justin Sollohub of the Anniston Police Department
Officer Justin Sollohub succumbed on August 25, 2011, to a gunshot wound
sustained the previous day while he was involved in a foot pursuit. Officer
Sollohub was on patrol when he stopped his vehicle to make contact with a
pedestrian near the intersection of 19th Street and Moore Avenue. As Officer
Sollohub exited his patrol car the man fled on foot.

As Officer Sollohub chased the man around the side of a house he was shot
once in the head. A responding officer located him and immediately began
tending to his wound. He was transported to a local hospital before being
flown to Birmingham. He remained on life support until his organs could be
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The man who shot Officer Sollohub was arrested later in the day after a
massive manhunt. He faces capital murder charges in connection with Officer
Sollohub’s murder. Officer Sollohub served with the Anniston Police
Department for two years, and is survived by his parents. He was 27 years

Officer Donald Newman of the Jemison Police Department
Officer Donald Newman was killed on March 5, 2011, in an automobile
accident while responding to head-on vehicle crash involving children. His
patrol car hydroplaned during a period of heavy rain and struck a utility pole
on U.S. Highway 31. Officer Newman had served with the Jemison Police
Department for just over two years and had previously served as a military
police officer in the U.S. Air Force for six years. He is survived by his wife and
four-year-old son. He was 30 years old.

Attorney General Strange thanked the officers in attendance today, and
expressed gratitude to their fellow officers in communities throughout Alabama. “I am
grateful and proud of the bravery and unselfish dedication that law enforcement
officers give to people of Alabama in their service to us each day,” he said. “It is my
hope that this conference has provided valuable instruction and shared information that
you will take back to your communities and that it may be of assistance as you carry out
your noble task of protecting the people of Alabama.”