Monthly Archives: April 2012

Armed Robbery at Dothan Mall

On April 20, three people were robbed at gunpoint outside of Wiregrass Commons Mall in Dothan.

According to Dothan police, the suspect approached a man sitting in his vehicle in the mall parking lot. The suspect pointed a gun at the man and demanded his money. The victim stated he didn’t have any money, and the suspect ran off. Moments later, two females exited the mall. The suspect approached them in the parking lot, pointed his gun to their backs, and stole their purses. The suspect then left the parking lot in a white Ford Mustang.

With assistance from the Dale County Sheriff’s Office and the Ozark Police Department, Dothan police arrested and charged Benjamin Calvin Nickerson, Jr., who is 21 years old. He has been charged with two counts of robbery 1st degree.

Judges in Alabama give harsh penalties to those convicted of property crimes. If a gun … Read the rest

Prescription Drug Crimes on the Rise

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, there are more Americans abusing psychotherapeutics than the number of cocaine, heroin and hallucinogen abusers combined. The Centers for Disease Control says that prescription drugs are responsible for more overdose deaths than “street drugs” such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines.

Dothan Police Sgt. Jason Adkins, who is the supervisor of the Dothan Police narcotics unit, said prescription medication is the number one abused drug investigated by the narcotics unit, with methamphetamine a close second. The Dothan Police Department even has an investigator who primarily works prescription medication cases. Adkins said that police commonly come across pain medications similar to Percocet, including hydrocodone, Lortab, and Lorcet. Xanax, Adderall, Ambien, and alprazolam are common too.

The most commonly filed charges involving prescription drugs are felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, attempted possession of a controlled substance and … Read the rest

Third Death Sentence for Dothan Man

Jerry Jerome Smith, 41, was sentenced to death on April 18 for the murders of three people. It was the third time a Houston County judge had given Smith the death penalty for the same murder convictions.

On October 19, 1996, Smith shot and killed 40-year-old Willie James Flournoy of Dothan, 26-year-old Theresa Ann Helms of Wicksburg, and 29-year-old David Lee Bennett of Midland City. The shootings took place during a burglary, in a residence that police described as a crack house. Reportedly, Smith then attempted to kill a forth person after his gun jammed. Smith was described as a man who ran a drug trafficking enterprise.

Smith had his first two death sentences reversed on appeal. In January, a Houston County jury unanimously recommended the death penalty again. On April 18, Houston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Conaway affirmed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Smith to death. In Alabama, … Read the rest

Alabama Drug Take-Back Day

For the forth year in a row, the DEA is sponsoring National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On Saturday, April 28, residents of Alabama will be able to safely and properly dispose of old prescription drugs that have expired or are no longer needed.

The Alabama Department of Public Health cites prescription drug abuse as an emerging health issue, and the nations fastest growing drug problem. Many teenagers and young people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends, family, or their home medicine cabinets. The National Drug Take-Back Day was created in an effort to help remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from homes, and to prevent these drugs from ending up in the wrong hands.

In addition to avoiding potential overdoses, it is important to the environment that medicines be disposed of in a proper manner, rather than being tossed into the garbage, flushed down the toilet, or poured down … Read the rest

7 New Police Officers In Dothan

The understaffed Dothan Police Department has sworn in 7 new officers. With the addition of these new officers, the Department headcount is now 159 officers, just 6 officers shy of a full staff. Two of these new recruits will be on the streets within the next few weeks, but the remaining five will spend three months in the police academy in Selma before they will be out on patrol.

Dothan Police Chief Greg Benton says that when the new recruits are out of the police academy, residents of Dothan will definitely notice. “It’s actually going to be more people in patrol. You’ll see more officers in the street which in turn will reduce crime just by visibility. It will also give us a little more lead way to do the things we need to do as far as proactive policing goes,” he says.

With additional officers patrolling the streets, the … Read the rest

Dothan Principal Arrested For DUI and Assault

On March 17, Dothan Technology Center Principal Gregory Allen was arrested and taken to Dothan City Jail on a DUI charge.

According to the police report, Allen’s vehicle struck two motorcycles while traveling westbound on East Main Street. Neither of the motorcycle drivers suffered serious injuries, but one of the them was taken to the hospital. When police arrived at the scene, they stated that they could smell alcohol on Allen. Allen was unable to perform field sobriety tests, and was arrested and taken to the city jail. In the car with Allen at the time of the accident were his two grandchildren.

Unfortunately, Allen was arrested a second time in the same month. On March 29, police arrested Allen and transported him to jail and charged him with two misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault. Dothan Police Sgt. Rachel David stated that the two new assault charges are related … Read the rest