HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A preliminary hearing has been set in the murder trial against a man charged in connection to the shooting death of an Alabama A&M student in 2021.
Lemond Lawrence Burns is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, July 5 at 3 p.m. at the Madison County Courthouse, according to court documents.
Burns was charged with capital murder following a shooting on January 18, 2021, at the Huntsville Place Apartments. Officials arrived at the complex and found 22-year-old Dallis Patrick Ryan Wolfe in critical condition.
HEMSI took Wolfe to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A few days after the incident, the Huntsville Police Department (HPD) arrested Burns, 21 at the time, in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and transported him to the Madison County Jail. HPD was assisted by the U.S. Marshal Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Talladega Sheriff’s Department.
At the time, authorities told News 19 that the shooting was the result of an ongoing dispute. AL.com, who spoke with Wolfe’s family, specified the issue was due to four men staying in the apartment that were not on the lease.
Burns, who also faces federal charges related to a fraud scheme, was later transferred to the Morgan County Jail as a federal inmate.
While there he was charged with second-degree assault in April 2021, after authorities say he attacked and beat a female corrections officer in Morgan County. The attack left the officer with a concussion, bruises around her eye and mouth, along with bruises on her back, head and arms.
Officials told News 19 that the female guard was overseeing a meal distribution process for the inmates when Burns asked her if he could take a smoke break. The officer told him he could take one after the meal.
“He apparently did not like that answer,” said Morgan County Public Informations Officer Mike Swafford. “Walked up on her. She gave commands for him to step back and then he quickly sucker-punched her twice to the head.”
Swafford said at the time that Burns was being housed in the Morgan County Jail due to space issues.
“The federal agencies don’t have jails everywhere so they contract with county jails that have the space and can meet the standards to house their inmates here,” said Swafford. He adds that these are normally people facing trial. Once they are sentenced, they are moved to a federal prison.
Burns was sentenced to 12 years in prison on the assault charge in January 2022, after he pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2021.
If convicted of the capital murder charge, Burns faces an additional sentence of life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, should the state choose to seek it at trial.