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For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2024

For press inquiries only, contact:
Amanda Priest (334) 322-5694
William Califf (334) 604-3230

(Montgomery, Ala) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the indictments of two Walker County men for the 2015 death of Eric Cates. Joshua Franklin Hill, 35, of Walker County and Luke Williams, Jr., 34, of Walker County were served with indictments for Capital Murder. Cates and his dog, Gypsy, were found deceased in the Empire community on March 21, 2015. Their bodies were badly burned as was the interior of the small truck where they were found. In October, Hill had previously been indicted with Cyrena Cheyenne Styles, 28, also of Walker County, and each charged with one count of murder. The new indictments were served, and defendants arrested on May 15, 2024. 

Attorney General Marshall’s Special Prosecution Division and Criminal Trials Divisions, in partnership with the Sumiton Police Department and former agents of Walker County Sheriff’s Office, presented evidence to a Walker County grand jury. The Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office have assisted the Attorney General’s Office in the investigation. 

If convicted of Capital Murder, both Hill and Williams would face a range of punishment of life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty if convicted.  

No additional information about the investigation or the defendants’ alleged crimes can be released at this time.