Red Bay man sentenced to die in child murder case
Franklin County Times
Franklin County Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey sentenced Jody Wayne Waldrop to death for killing his infant son in September 2005.
Dempsey heard statements from the state and the defense prior to passing sentence in the case.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing asked for the judge to impose the death penalty in the case.
"This is a terribly hard decision for us to recommend the death penalty," Rushing told the court.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Evans continued to address the court saying that they feel the death penalty would be appropriate in this case.
Defense attorney Dennis Odem said that Waldrop has always maintained that this unfortunate incident was accidental.
"There was never any malice, forethought or intent to harm the child," Odem said.
Odem continued by saying that Waldrop was very remorseful for this incident, and the he has stated his love for Chance many times.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to Jody and his fine family who have all been with him from the beginning," Odem said.
Dempsey said that he has no doubt that Waldrop engaged in conduct that killed the victim in this case.
Dempsey said that according witness testimony Chance was concious a few minutes prior to lapsing into a coma, which gave reason to assume that the baby felt pain prior to his death.
"Many people will argue that the infant did not feel pain because he was not old enough," Dempsey said. "Just because there is no cognitive function does not lessen the pain [for the infant]."
Waldrop is the first person in Franklin County to be given the death penalty, and there is only one other capital murder case in the county.
It was settled with life without parole.
After the sentencing, Odem informed the court that Waldrop was seeking other representation for his appeal, and the he and his colleagues would not continue with the appeal.
Waldrop was taken back to Lawrence County Jail. Rushing said that Waldrop will go into the State Penatary system within 30 days.
"I assume that he will be place in a maximum security facility since he has been sentenced to death," Rushing said.
Red Bay Police Chief Pat Creel said that he is very pleased with the verdict and that he believes Chance was killed simply because he was an inconvenience.