State won't seek death penalty for White
by Chris Norwood
Feb 14, 2011 | 4286 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The state of Alabama will not seek death by lethal injection for Michael Joe White, Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens told potential jurors in the case Monday. Now, if he is convicted of capital murder as charged, White faces mandatory life in prison without possibility of parole.

The death penalty was taken off the table at the request of the family of Harvey Edison, who White and Antoine Watts allegedly shot during a robbery at Edison’s home on Avenue H in May 2006. Capital murder charges remain pending against Watts.

A jury of seven men and seven women was seated to hear the case with Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth Monday. Testimony is expected to begin today.

Although the connection has not been made clear, the death of Shaquana Watts Green, Antoine Watts’ sister, may figure into the case at some point. Green was walking to her residence on Long Street in August 2005 when she was struck and killed by a vehicle. Talton Twymon eventually was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident with injury. Although the jury that convicted Twymon did not know it, Green was positive for crack cocaine when she died.

Edison was killed a few weeks after Twymon was convicted.

Giddens asked the panel specifically if any of them had known Green. He also made the statement that “this case is not about the evils of drug and alcohol addiction. It’s not about guns.” It is about Edison’s death, he said.

The remainder of the jury panel was dismissed for the week after the 14 selected were announced. In capital cases, even when the death penalty is no longer on the table, it is common practice to select two alternates.

Across the hall, before Circuit Judge Julian King, another jury of 10 women and three men convicted Richard McCargo, 67, of shooting into an occupied dwelling. McCargo was charged with firing into a residence on the 1000 block of Coleman Circle in July 2009. He now faces 10 to 20 years in prison.