ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — In an Enterprise courtroom on Tuesday, David Cunningham pled guilty to the 2016 murder of his roommate, James Hill. An autopsy determined Hill had been stabbed multiple times, as well as suffering from blunt force trauma.
Since February 2016, David Cunningham has been an inmate at the Coffee County Jail charged with capital murder in the stabbing and beating death of Hill. The motive of what led to the killing has never been released.
On Tuesday, Cunningham pled guilty to a reduced charge of murder and was then sentenced to 40 years in prison. Since Hill was originally from Hawaii, his mother took part in the sentencing phase on a video call.
“An agreement was reached with the state based on multiple factors involved in this case and Mr. Cunningham agreed to accept that offer,” defense co-counsel, James Tarbox said. “And as difficult as it was, as you saw from the bench, Judge Clark then sentenced Mr. Cunningham to the 40 years.”
In Alabama, a capital murder conviction carries one of two sentences: either life in prison or the death penalty. So for this sentence to happen, the capital murder charge had to be changed to murder.
In emotional testimony, the victim’s father and brother would testify before Circuit Judge Shannon Clark that the defendant has robbed them of their loved one and forever changed their lives.
Judge Clark sentenced Cunningham to 40 years in a state penitentiary. He will not be released until he’s in his mid-to-late sixties.