Capital murder trial starts today
by Elsie Hodnett
Sep 18, 2012 | 4110 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ASHVILLE – Opening statements in the trial of a St. Clair Correctional Facility inmate charged with two counts of capital murder are set to begin this morning.

St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor said a jury was seated for the capital murder trial of Taurus Carroll, 35, Monday afternoon.

Carroll is charged with the Sept. 14, 2009, capital murder of Michael Turner, 24, who was serving a 3-year sentence from Montgomery County for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Phil Seay originally set Carroll’s trial for May, but reset the trial for this week.

After Carroll’s Atkins hearing in April, Seay ruled that Carroll is not “mentally retarded.”

Minor said any criminal defendant in Alabama who alleges they are mentally retarded must have an Atkins hearing to determine whether or not they are eligible for the death penalty. An individual found by the court to be mentally retarded cannot receive a sentence of death in accordance with U.S. and state law.

Minor said the Code of Alabama defines mental retardation as “a person with significant sub-average general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with concurrent impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.”

Carroll is currently serving life without the possibility of parole stemming from a 1998 capital murder conviction in Jefferson County.

He was removed from the general inmate population in September 2009 after Turner was stabbed to death.

According to the first count of the indictment Carroll “did intentionally cause the death of Michael Darrell Turner by stabbing him with a prison made knife,” and that Carroll caused that death after having been convicted of another murder within the last 20 years.

The second count of the indictment, also for capital murder, stated Carroll intentionally caused Turner’s death while under the sentence of life in prison.

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.