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For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2022

Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds Houston County Murder Conviction

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of Cedricka Jacole Thornton. Thornton, 27, of Dothan, was convicted in Houston County Circuit Court on February 13, 2020, for the murder of Devontay Davis.

Evidence at trial showed that during the early morning hours of February 9, 2017, police and emergency personnel were called to Thornton’s residence where they found the victim, Devontay Davis, suffering from a stab wound to the chest. Davis was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Thornton told conflicting stories to the police about what happened that night. Eventually, when confronted with certain facts, Thornton changed her story and contended that she acted in self-defense and that Davis had assaulted her and threatened her life. The jury, after hearing the evidence - which included testimony from a medical expert that the victim’s death could not have occurred the way Thornton said it did - found Thornton guilty of murder and she was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by the trial court.

Houston County District Attorney Pat Jones’s office successfully prosecuted the case and obtained a guilty verdict. Thornton sought to have her conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General's Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm Thornton’s conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, July 8, 2022.

Attorney General Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General Chris Howell for his successful work on this case, and thanked District Attorney Pat Jones and his staff for their valuable assistance in defending the murder conviction.

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The primary duty of the Attorney General is to serve as legal counsel to Alabama's state agencies, departments, and officers. Our office is prohibited by law from providing private citizens with legal advice, representation, or opinions (Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 36, Chapter 15). The Attorney General's Office does not handle any domestic cases (example: child support, child custody, divorce, etc.) or probate matters (real estate, wills, property disputes, etc.). To obtain an attorney or legal aid referral, you may contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at http://www.alabar.org or by calling 1-800-392-5660 .