Dekalb County Sheriff Seeking Public’s Help Locating Ethan Rogers

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating Ethan Rogers (32 of Fort Payne).

On the evening of Sunday, October 19, 2021 at approximately 5 pm, investigators with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office went to a residence on Fruit Farm Road in Fort Payne in an attempt to recover stolen property.

Upon arrival, Rogers fled on foot, leading deputies on a foot pursuit. Deputies, officers with the Fort Payne Police Department, and the Mentone Police Department were called to assist and set up a perimeter. The ALEA aviation unit was also called to assist with the search, but were unable to locate the subject.

On scene, Karen Henderson (55 of Fort Payne) was arrested on charges of Disorderly ConductResisting ArrestPossession of Marijuana 2nd Degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after a search warrant was executed on the residence.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ethan Rogers please call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at (256)845-3801.

WEIS Radio

Triple Murderer Convicted In Cherokee County, AL

A Cherokee County man has been convicted on two counts of capital murder, attempted murder, criminal mischief and attempting to elude following a trial held this week in Cherokee County District Court.

Donnie Lee Abernathy is charged in the killing of three women and the wounding of a man back in November of 2015 at a residence in the Round Mountain Community of Cherokee County.

Cherokee County District Attorney Mike O’Dell had these comments:

Abernathy shot and killed the victims and forcefully took his ex girlfriend Jerrica Hamilton from the residence and attempted to elude officers before crashing his Ford Mustang a short time later.

Jerrica Hamiltion told investigators that Abernathy came into the house shot and killed all three victims and then kidnapped her, just prior to eluding police, Abernathy then told Hamilton to place a 911 call and tell them that everything was ok and that if she did not do so he would kill her and she would never see her child again.

Abernathy is set to be sentenced on November, 10th.


Fort Payne Police Department Seeks Help Identifying Thief

The Fort Payne Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying a woman who stole thousands of dollars in merchandise at the DeKalb County VFW Fair.

Investigators said the woman even went so far as to enlist the help of two students who were also at the fair to help her carry the items. They said the students didn’t know the items were stolen.

The fair took place Sept. 27–Oct. 2. Fort Payne PD said the woman was wearing a backpack and had a child with her the whole time she was at the fair. She is accused of stealing items from multiple booth displays set up by local businesses.

Anyone with information about the woman’s identity or whereabouts is encouraged to contact Fort Payne PD at 256-845-1414.


Rome Men Arrested in Cherokee Co., AL for 2020 Double Murder

Two Rome men are in the Cherokee County Detention Center on charges of Capital Murder in connection to the 2020 double murder of two half sisters, a third suspect, Desmond Brown also faces the same charges in the case but has not yet been extradited back to Alabama.

37 year old Devin Watts and 24 year old Christopher Pullen were booked in at the Cherokee County Jail on Friday.

The men are accused of killing Vanita Nicole Richardson and Truvenia Campbell over a misplaced wallet and dumping their bodies off a bridge in Rome. The case was moved to Cherokee County after evidence pointed to the actual killings happening just inside Alabama.

Cellphone records and statements given to investigators showed the five people drove to Alabama and somewhere along the road back to Rome, Brown pulled over.

“Mr. Brown pulled off onto the side of the road and questioned the females over the wallet,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Ghee Wilson said during a December 2020 preliminary hearing.

Eventually they got back into the car, but Brown pulled over again and ordered them to get out at gunpoint. He wanted to search the women, believing they stole his wallet earlier at a party at his home. Campbell put up a fight.

Wilson testified that Brown shot her several times and then shot the younger sister, Richardson, as she attempted to comply.

The men put the women’s bodies into the trunk of the Volkswagen and made a few more stops, Wilson testified. One was at a Mapco on U.S. 411 to buy three pairs of gloves, a Perrier water and a Black and Mild cigar. Another was to sell synthetic marijuana at the Callier Forest Apartments before throwing the women’s bodies off the 411 bridge.

Early on the morning of May 13, 2020, GDOT crews prepared to do bridge inspections. One the many bridges the transportation agency was tasked with inspecting was on the East Rome Bypass near Grizzard Park, where they found the bodies.

After the bodies were found, the three men fled Rome and traveled to Atlanta with several other men.

At that point, Wilson said, Brown learned his mother had found his wallet behind a television in the living room. Pullen, who was riding with Brown, told investigators that Brown got erratic and pulled out of a drive-through line cursing.

“He said ‘I just got two bodies for nothing,’” Wilson testified.

All the men involved were arrested a few days later on other charges and held in jail.



Centre, AL Man Arrested – Drug Trafficking

A Centre man was arrested by Centre Police on Sunday night charged with two counts of drug trafficking.

42 year old Terry Dixon was booked in at the Cherokee County Detention Center at 7:52 p.m.

Dixon was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He currently remains in jail on a $150,500 bond.


Armed Standoff Ends With Arrest

Cherokee County deputies and Leesburg Police responded to a serious domestic violence call at a residence on County Road 44 in the Hopewell community on Thursday evening.

Law enforcement officers encountered a man armed with a shotgun when they arrived on the scene and the man ran into the residence. The suspect, who was identified as Chad Blalock, used a knife to cut his girlfriend and strangled her during the altercation.

Eventually Blalock came out of the residence again, still armed with a shotgun.  According to Cherokee County Chief Deputy Josh Summerford, members of the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team (ERT) used less-than-lethal munitions to stop the suspect when he refused commands to put down the shotgun and advanced toward deputies.

The suspect was transported by EMS to Floyd Regional Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and released into the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.

As part of normal Sheriff’s Office protocol, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office was requested to conduct an administrative investigation.  Blalock, age 44, was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on charges of domestic violence 2nd degree, domestic violence by strangulation and resisting arrest.


Centre, AL Man Sentenced to 238 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse/Sodomy of Child

Convicted sex offender Curtis Lee Johnson was sentenced to serve 238 years in prison yesterday in Cherokee County by Judge Jeremy Taylor. Johnson was convicted of 2 counts each of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and sodomy 1st degree last month by a Cherokee County jury.
In July of 2019, it was reported to Inv. Randy Mayorga that the 6 year old victim had been sexually abused by Curtis Lee Johnson in a residence here in Centre, AL. The last incident was reported to have taken place the date of the report and also the same day in which the victim’s mother caught Curtis Lee Johnson in the act. At that time, the victim’s mother went for the handgun she uses for protection, which resulted in Curtis Lee Johnson being able to flee from the residence at that time.
On the same day of the report, Curtis Lee Johnson was recorded on a phone where the same video showed to be a crucial evidence to the case. Inv. Randy Mayorga obtained that evidence and also coordinated with DHR and CAC for the child to be interviewed by professionals. Due to the victim’s residence being out of Cherokee County, the CAC in the victim’s respective county was contacted and a CAC was set up within 48 hours. The CAC interview showed to be extremely helpful in being able to obtain further information from the victim. After the CAC interview, a D.D.A. was contacted where the information was provided at the beginning of the report (with a witness to see the offense) and the following disclosed information by the victim. The D.D.A. approved a warrant for the offense that showed to have the victim’s mother as a witness.
During the investigation, Inv. Randy Mayorga continued to receive information from local residents that also began to see and hear about bizarre behavior that Curtis Lee Johnson showed/ displayed during those days. It was also believed at that time that Curtis Lee Johnson was a possible flight risk due to having contacts out of the state. On 07/26/2019, an arrest warrant was obtained for Curtis Lee Johnson for 1 count of Sexual Abuse 1st Degree (Child under 12 years of age).
At a later date in 2020, the case investigation was presented to a Grand Jury where they were presented with a total of 2 counts of Sexual Abuse 1st Degree (Child under 12 years of age) and 2 counts of Sodomy 1st Degree. The Grand Jury then indicted Curtis Lee Johnson of all 4 counts.
On 09/13/2021, the case underwent a jury trial where jurors from within Cherokee County were selected by the prosecuting attorneys and the defense attorney. During the trial, all the evidence provided was presented to the Jury, as well as testimonies heard. On 09/14/2021, the prosecution and the defense rested their case where the Jury deliberated over the evidence and the testimonies. The Jury then provided that they had come to a verdict. The attending judge then reviewed what the Jury had come to a conclusion. The Jury found that Curtis Lee Johnson was guilty on 2 counts of Sexual Abuse 1st Degree (child under 12 years of age) and 2 counts of Sodomy 1st Degree. The sentencing was set for today (10/06/2021) where the judge found that Curtis Lee Johnson was to serve 238 years behind bars.
District Attorney Mike O’Dell thanked each person who worked on the case including Deputy District Attorney Bob Johnston, Centre Police Department Investigator Randy Mayorga, Talladega DHR, Children’s Advocacy Center, and Assistant District Attorney Stanna Guice and to the brave 8 year old who testified and deserves to grow up knowing she is safe and her offender won’t hurt anyone else.

18 Wheeler Accident Near Gaylesville

There was an 18-wheeler rollover at the intersection of Highway 35 and County Road 718 near the Gaylesville 4-Way Stop just prior to 7:00am Wednesday, with the driver being trapped inside the vehicle.

Fortunately, it appears the driver escaped serious injury, and no other vehicles were involved.  The truck was apparently fully loaded – hauling what’s being referred to as “food products”.

Motorists should slow down and exercise extreme caution, or avoid that area if at all possible.