Hearing continued for suspect in Lazenby murder
by Emily Adams
Mar 06, 2012 | 7050 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ocie Lee Lynch stands outside the Talladega County Courthouse in Sylacauga prior to a court appearance before District Judge Ryan Rumsey Monday afternoon. Lynch was arrested in January on a capital murder charge in connection with the murder of attorney Blake Lazenby. Photo by Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home
Ocie Lee Lynch stands outside the Talladega County Courthouse in Sylacauga prior to a court appearance before District Judge Ryan Rumsey Monday afternoon. Lynch was arrested in January on a capital murder charge in connection with the murder of attorney Blake Lazenby. Photo by Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home
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SYLACAUGA – The preliminary hearing for Ocie Lee Lynch, a Birmingham man arrested in connection with the murder of attorney Blake Lazenby, was continued in court Monday.

Lynch, 30, appeared before Talladega County District Judge Ryan Rumsey and was appointed lawyer Jeff Salyer.

Salyer requested to have the hearing continued to give him time to prepare.

A hearing date has not been set, but Rumsey called for it to be held in a special setting, which means it will likely occur before the next scheduled court date April 10.

At the hearing, Rumsey will determine if there is sufficient evidence to present the case to a grand jury. If the jury indicts him, Lynch will be arraigned and placed on the trial docket.

Lynch was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with capital murder during the commission of a burglary in the first degree. He was the first of four arrests made in the case to date, which authorities say is ongoing.

Shortly after the first arrest, Calvin McCall Haynes, 30, of Birmingham was arrested and charged with one count each of criminal solicitation of murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder.

About two weeks ago, police arrested Charles Andrew Joseph Hendrix, 21, of Birmingham and Earnest James Files Jr., 56, of Alexander City.

Hendrix was charged with the same capital murder counts as Lynch. He was also charged with one count of theft of property in the first degree for allegedly stealing a 2009 GMC Yukon that belonged to Lazenby.

Files was charged with one count each of criminal solicitation of murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder. At the time of his arrest in this case, Files was in Tallapoosa County Jail for charges of making terrorist threats, bribing a witness, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and a pistol violation, according to documents obtained from the Alexander City District Court office.

Lazenby was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds at his home on Stonehill Road July 27, 2011. His body was discovered when Tarrant police traced the Yukon, which had been abandoned and set on fire, back to Lazenby.

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

Solicitation of and conspiracy to commit murder are Class A felonies in Alabama, punishable upon conviction by 10 to 99 years or life in prison. Conviction for capital murder carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.

Contact Emily Adams at eadams@dailyhome.com.