Arrest almost turns deadly

Published 12:05 am Thursday, April 24, 2014

“It almost turned deadly.”

That is how Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole described a scary situation at a business in Florala Tuesday. Bedsole said the incident ended without any injuries after a Florala officer was forced to hold four people at gunpoint until backup arrived.

The incident began Tuesday afternoon when officer Lance Price was called to a local business that reported a woman trespassing. Bedsole said Price was in the process of taking 39-year-old Stephanie Ann Slaughter into custody when David A. Morris, 19, Jimmy L. Jarman, 18, Briana D. Morris, 18, and a juvenile attempted to physically stop the officer from making the arrest. Compounding the situation, Bedsole said, was the fact that he and other Florala officers were attending the funeral of Deputy Sheriff Heath Kelley, who was killed last week in automobile accident, in Andalusia at the time of the incident.

“We had to break away from the funeral procession to get there to help (Price),” Bedsole said. “There was an off-duty Opp police officer and one of our reserve officers that got there before we did.”

Bedsole said the situation was seconds away from becoming “a free for all” and commended Price’s work to control the scene until other officers arrived.

Slaughter was charged with trespassing and booked into the Covington County Jail on a $1,000 bond. David Morris, Briana Morris and Jarman were all charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and obstruction of governmental operations and booked into the jail, each on a $4,000 bond.