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Parole hearing set for man convicted in triple murder

Andalusia man was found guilty of Brooklyn country store horrors

For more than 20 years, three Brewton area families have known those responsible for the deaths of their loved ones were behind bars.

Next month, one of the two men accused in the 1996 murders will have a hearing before the parole board, and family members are asking for letters and petitions to ensure he remains behind bars.

Ethan Eugene Dorsey is currently being held in the Staton Correctional Center in Elmore County.
Department of Corrections photo

Ethan Eugene Dorsey, 49, formerly of Andalusia, is eligible for parole from an Alabama Department of Corrections facility, and a three-member board will make that decision next month.

Scott Williams, Richard Cary and 13-year-old Bryan Crane were brutally killed when Dorsey and Calvin Middleton planned a robbery at a country store in the Brooklyn community. Middleton is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in the triple murder.

On Oct. 23, family members for the three murder victims will go before the parole board in Montgomery to plead with the board not to free Dorsey.

“When he made the premeditated choice to rob and murder innocent adults and a child, he lost his human rights as a citizen of the United States,” said Courtney Crane, aunt of one of the slain.

“This parole hearing is important to us because Bryan lost his life; he was an innocent child,” she said. “We lost a member of our family. He was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, classmate and friend to many. It is our duty…to fight against this murderer’s chance of parole.”

Crane said the crime has affected her family in numerous ways – mentally, emotionally and physically.

Williams, Cary and Crane died when Ethan Eugene Dorsey and Calvin Middleton robbed the country store Cary owned in 1996. Crane, who was 13, went to the store with Williams, who was dating his mother.

“Every Nov. 20, the anniversary date of Bryan’s death, is a constant reminder of the night he was brutally murdered for no reason,” she said. “Ethan Eugene Dorsey made the conscious decision to put a gun to the back of a 13-year-old boy’s head, less than three inches away, and pull the trigger. How someone can make this cold and heartless choice is something my family will never be able to fathom. My brother, Tim, lost his first born son and his name sake. My parents lost their first grandchild. This was the first time in our lives that we had a family member murdered and we didn’t know how to deal with it. The first few days and weeks were a daze, we kept thinking it was all a bad dream, but it was no dream; this was reality. Bryan was gone. We all miss him and with each holiday and birthday that passes, we wish that he was here with us but God had a better plan.

“The day that Bryan died, we found a journal entry that he had written entitled ‘Thankful.’ It says, ‘I am thankful for a good life because I have parents and people that loves me. I have a good home, I have a bed, and I have good food. I’m thankful for having nice clothes and I have a grandfather that loves me a lot. But most of all I’m thankful for having the Lord!’ Without a doubt we all know where Bryan is and we will be united with him again,” Crane said.

The families are asking locals to sign petitions to keep Dorsey in prison.

“In Brewton, petitions are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Peach Ford, Peach Chevrolet, Country Express and Frit Car. In Evergreen, petitions are available at Tatum’s Furniture. We need original signatures on the petitions, no copies or electronic signatures. If you feel so led to do so, you can also write a letter on behalf of the Crane family explaining why you do not think this person should be on parole. If you would like to write a letter, please contact Courtney Crane at cranecs@gmail.com,” she said. “To everyone that has already written letters and signed petitions, we greatly appreciate each and everyone one of you. Your kindness will not be forgotten.”

Dorsey was sentenced to death in 1998, but the Alabama Supreme Court erased that in a 5-4 decision in 2003. The court ruled that Dorsey was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, and in a separate deliberation, guilty of robbery, which is a requirement for felony murder. The high court ruled that the convictions for felony murder meant Dorsey could not be sentenced under capital murder charges for the same crime, meaning he could not be given the death penalty.

He was denied parole in 2013.