Russell County has 12 death penalty cases, compared to one in Muscogee

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There is one capital case in Columbus

With Ricky Morris’ arrest this week, there are now 12 people facing the possibility of the death penalty in Russell County.

By comparison, there is one active capital murder case – Brandon Conner — in the six-county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit that includes Musocgee County.

Why the high number in Russell County?

In Alabama there are 18 different ways you can find yourself a defendant in a capital case. Drive-by shootings, armed robbery, killing two or more people, arson, killing a law enforcement officer, killing someone under 14 to name a few.

Longtime District Attorney Kenneth Davis said these kinds of charges run in spurts. There have been five people facing capital charges on offense that were committed this year.

“We take the cases as they come,” Davis said. “But if a case fits into one of those categories that allow or call for capital punishment, generally that’s what we charge.”

Four defendants – Morris, Ashley King, Daryus Sullivan and Joshua Pickard — are accused of arson-related murders in three different cases.

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