The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of Joseph Hunt Booth, who was arrested for killing a man to avoid paying an alleged drug debt in 2014.
As Lagniappe reported at the time, Booth was arrested and charged with the murder of 23-year-old Antonio Crawford, who was shot three times with a shotgun at a house on Houston Street on a Sunday afternoon in April 2014.
It was later revealed that the house belonged to Booth.
At trial, prosecutors argued that the murder resulted from a financial dispute over a drug transaction, alleging that Crawford had demanded Booth get money he was owed from his elderly parents, who were said to be visiting him at the time the fatal shooting occurred.
Booth was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment following a trial in 2018, but sought to appeal his conviction — an attempt the court ruled against in an order handed down last Friday, Sept. 13. It was one of two local murder convictions that were upheld on appeal to Montgomery.
The second was a murder conviction of Aubrey Allen Rosson, 61, who was found guilty of murdering Duane Massingale and the first-degree assault of his wife, Veronica Massingale. The evidence showed that on June 27, 2016, Rosson had been drinking at the Massingales’ residence when he declared he was going to kill them. He then shot Duane Massingale multiple times, fatally wounding him.
Veronica Massingale was shot, struggled, and tried to flee before being shot again. Prosecutors told jurors that she managed to survive the drunken attack by pretending to be dead at the time. Rosson was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and 10 years for the assault conviction.
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