FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 1
AG ANNOUNCES THAT COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS UPHOLDS
HOUSTON COUNTY CAPITAL MURDER AND ATTEMPTED MURDER
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the Alabama
Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the capital murder and attempted murder
convictions of Marcus Dantrell Rivers. Rivers, 28, of Dothan, was convicted in Houston County
Circuit Court in August of 2014 for the murder of Patrick Dixon and the attempted murder of
Evidence presented at trial revealed that on April 19, 2006, Rivers, along with Everett
Morton and Michael James, were at Morton’s house in Dothan, Alabama. James called Patrick
Dixon and Tyrance Byrd in order to set up a drug deal and rob them of their drugs.
Rivers and James hid in some bushes and waited for Byrd and Dixon to arrive. When the
two men drove up, Morton approached the vehicle and exchanged ten dollars with Dixon for a
bag of marijuana. James then approached the passenger’s side of the vehicle and told Byrd to
“give it up.” James then began firing a gun into the vehicle at which point Rivers approached
the driver’s side of the vehicle and began to shoot his gun into the vehicle as well. Rivers later
admitted to police that he fired his gun eight times. Dixon died as a result of the gunshot
wounds; Byrd survived but sustained a gunshot wound to his leg.
The case was prosecuted at trial by Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska’s
office. Rivers was convicted and was sentenced to concurrent terms of life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for the capital murder convictions and to a consecutive term of
99 years imprisonment for the attempted murder conviction. He subsequently sought to have
his convictions reversed on appeal.
The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Section handled the case during the appeals
process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the convictions. The
Court did so in a decision issued on Friday, October 16.
Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General Ferris Stephens of the
Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Section for his successful work in this case.
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