Talladega County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three teens Tuesday and charged them in last week’s ambush attack in Kymulga that critically injured a newspaper carrier.
Willie Lee Ricks, 19, Alexander Lamon Ricks, 18, both of Childersburg, and Roderick Darius Bolton, 17, of Alpine, had initial court appearances Tuesday morning before District Judge George Sims.
All three are charged with one count each of attempted murder and first degree robbery. Bond was set at $500,000 for each teen, The Daily Home in Talladega reported.
The three allegedly dragged a log across Grist Mill Road early on March 28 and waited for a car to come by. Lt. Mike Hubbard, chief investigator for the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office, said at least one other vehicle had reached the obstacle earlier, but drove around it.
Christie Haywood, a subcontractor delivering newspapers for The Daily Home, hit the log shortly before 12:45 a.m. Hubbard testified Tuesday that Haywood was shot in the face, arm and side with a 20-gauge shotgun when she stopped. The teens then allegedly stole her Pontiac Grand Am.
Hubbard also testified Wednesday that the teens allegedly returned to the scene later to see if Haywood was dead and to kill her if she wasn’t.
Haywood had managed to make it to a nearby house and called the Sheriff’s Office. Her car was found the same day three to four miles from the scene.
Hubbard said investigators were led to the Ricks brothers because Haywood heard one of her attackers say “Willie, let’s go.”
All three teens confessed after questioning. The Ricks brothers also have unrelated warrants for first degree robbery from the Childersburg Police Department for a March 11 robbery.
Bolton is 17 and Alexander turned 18 the day after the shooting. But any person over the age of 16 charged with a violent felony in Alabama is automatically tried as an adult.
Haywood’s mother, Deanie Feazell, told The Daily Home her daughter was doing well Tuesday, though she still has pain in her arm and will likely have to have eye surgery.
“But she’s doing great today, when she found out they had been arrested and all three admitted what they had done,” Feazell said. “That was a blessing.”
The teens will have a preliminary hearing in district court, likely within the next two months, to determine if there is enough evidence to bring the cases before a grand jury.
Attempted murder and first degree robbery are both Class A felonies in Alabama. Conviction for a Class A felony involving a firearm or deadly weapon carries a punishment of 20 to 99 years or life in prison.