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franklin county times

Waldrop killed in prison

A Red Bay man convicted in the 2005 shaking death of his three-week-old son was stabbed to death in his prison cell early last Tuesday morning, officials said.

Jodey Wayne Waldrop, 36, formerly of Red Bay, was pronounced dead shortly before 3 a.m., according to the St. Clair County coroner.

Authorities said he was stabbed with a prison shank inside his cell at the St. Clair Correctional Facility about 2 a.m. and was transported to St. Vincent’s St. Clair where he succumbed to the injuries.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

Waldrop was convicted of capital murder in August 2007 for killing his three-week-old son, Jodey Jo “Chance” Waldrop in September 2005 by shaking him.

During the original trial in 2007, testimony revealed the baby was left in Waldrop’s care for a 30 minute period on the evening of Sept. 22, 2005.

According to reports, the child’s mother, Starlet Waldrop, left the baby with Waldrop while she visited her grandmother. When she returned the baby was not breathing and appeared to have injuries to his head.

After the capital murder conviction, Franklin County Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey sentenced Waldrop to death in October 2007, and Waldrop immediately began the process to appeal his case.

On March 5, 2010, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the guilty verdict based on the plain-error rule, a rule that states that in capital murder cases, an appeals court can reverse a judgment because of a mistake in the proceedings even though no objection was made at the time the mistake occurred.

According to the Court of Criminal Appeals’ opinion, Dempsey did not instruct jurors to disregard testimony concerning an assault conviction Waldrop had received in Mississippi prior to the capital murder charge.

Even though Waldrop’s attorneys did not object, the lack of instruction was still enough for a reversal.

After the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the verdict, the case went to the Alabama Supreme Court in September 2010, which refused to hear arguments from the attorney general’s office asking for the Court of Criminal Appeals ruling to be reversed.

Instead of facing a new trial, Waldrop pleaded guilty to murder in August 2011 and received a life sentence from Dempsey and was serving out this sentence when he was killed.


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