Arrest made in Lazenby case
by Emily Adams and Chris Norwood
Jan 12, 2012 | 12011 views |  0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SYLACAUGA — Ocie Lee Lynch of Birmingham was arrested for capital murder in the death of Talladega County attorney and Sylacauga resident Blake Lazenby.

Lynch, 30, was arrested without incident around 11 p.m. Tuesday in Birmingham and is being held without bond at the Talladega County Jail.

Lynch had an initial court appearance Wednesday morning before Talladega County District Judge Jeb Fannin, who informed him he had been charged with capital murder during the commission of a burglary in the first degree.

When the defendant asked why he was being charged with both crimes, Fannin explained that the burglary in the first degree was the aggravating circumstance that made the murder a capital case.

“A murder that happens during the course of a felony is capital murder,” Fannin said.

Interim Sylacauga Police Chief Chris Carden said the ongoing nature of the investigation limits the amount of information they can release.

“We hope to be able to provide more information as the case against Lynch and other defendants involved develops,” Carden said. “Sylacauga investigators along with DA investigators continue to work tirelessly in pursuing leads and putting the pieces together that will eventually solve this violent crime and bring justice to the victim Blake Lazenby and his family.”

Carden said he could not reveal any further details, but said the case is “far from over.”

The Sylacauga Police Department, Talladega County District Attorney’s Office, Birmingham police, U.S. marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. The warrant for Lynch’s arrest Tuesday was signed by Talladega County Circuit Judge Julian King, who ordered the defendant held without bond.

District Attorney Steve Giddens confirmed the evidence will show that Lynch was inside the house when the killing occurred. The investigation remains ongoing, he said, but could not elaborate further.

The next step will be a preliminary court appearance before District Judge Ryan Rumsey, currently scheduled for March 5 at 1 p.m. in Sylacauga.

Rumsey will determine if there is sufficient evidence to present the case to a grand jury.

If the grand jury indicts him, Lynch will then be arraigned and placed on the trial docket.

Lazenby, 54, was found dead in his home on Stonehill Road in Sylacauga around 11 p.m. July 27, 2011. Talladega County Coroner Shaddix Murphy previously said Lazenby was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

Tarrant police in Jefferson County recovered Lazenby’s white 2009 GMC Yukon earlier that day after it had been abandoned and set on fire.

Lazenby practiced law for nearly 30 years in the area and served as partner in the Talladega law firm Wooten, Thornton, Carpenter, O’Brien, Lazenby and Lawrence.

A capital murder conviction carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.

Contact Emily Adams at eadams@dailyhome.com and Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.