Judge to hear motion in murder case today

Published 2:24 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Circuit Judge Lex Short will hear from attorneys today for a man who is charged with capital murder.

Attorneys Manish Patel and Chris Sledge, who represent, Shelton Lorenz Foster have filed a motion that asks the court to declare the death penalty section of the Alabama Capital Murder Statue unconstitutional.

The attorneys say in the motion that under Alabama law, the final decision after a capital murder conviction rests with the judge as to whether a defendant is sentenced to death or to life without parole.

In February, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the final decision after a capital murder conviction as to whether the defendant should be sentenced to life without parole rests with the jury; not the judge.

The motion asks that the court issue an order declaring that the death penalty section is inapplicable and that if Shelton is convicted, the punishment shall not be the death penalty.

Foster is accused of murdering 48-year-old Donnie Earl Bone in an area off Old Drag Strip Road in September 2012.

A hunter found Bone’s body under a tarp shortly before 8 p.m.

Law enforcement officers struggled to identify the body until Bone’s family reported him missing around 3 a.m. Friday morning.

According to Star-News archives, Bone was shot in the back of the head.

Additionally, testimony at the prelim hearing showed the shooting could have been a result of a “drug deal gone wrong.”

Short will hear the motion at 2 p.m.