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April 4, 2019

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Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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Alabama Attorney General

Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Court of Criminal
Appeals Upholds Capital Murder Convictions in Mobile County

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that on Friday the
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the capital murder convictions of Derrick
Shawn Penn. Penn, 52, of Mobile, was convicted in Mobile County Circuit Court in
October 2017 for the murder of his estranged wife, Janet Penn, and her boyfriend,
Demetrius Powe.
The evidence at trial showed that in 2007, Derrick and Janet Penn separated, and she
moved out of their home. After Janet Penn began dating Powe in 2009, Derrick Penn
started harassing her. He telephoned her repeatedly, threatened to kill her and Powe,
and followed her. On May 19, 2009, Janet Penn filed a petition for protection from
abuse. In the early morning hours of May 27, 2009, Derrick Penn went to her apartment,
where he shot and killed her and then beat Powe to death.
Because the murders were each committed during the course of a burglary, and both
victims were murdered by one act or pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct,
Penn was convicted of three capital offenses. He was sentenced to life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for each conviction.
The case was prosecuted at trial by Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich. His
initial convictions were reversed and remanded for a new trial, and he again was
convicted. Penn again sought to have his convictions reversed on appeal.
The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled the cases during the
appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the
convictions. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, March 29. Attorney General
Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General Tracy Daniel for her successful work
in this case.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300