Calvin McCall Haynes, 32, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of severe mental disease or defect, according to Assistant District Attorney Christina Kilgore.
The case of Earnest J. “L.A.” Files Jr., 57, was continued, and one of Files’ attorneys, William Dawson, notified the court that he would no longer be representing him.
To date, six people have been charged with capital murder for killing Lazenby. According to testimony heard at various public hearings, a year before the actual killing, Files approached Haynes and offered him $85,000 to kill his girlfriend’s husband. Files was accompanied by a white woman with two children who represented herself as Lazenby’s wife but was, according to District Attorney Steve Giddens, in fact Teresa Baker Taylor, 53, of Alexander City. Haynes said he refused the offer, but mentioned it to Ocie Lee Lynch, 30, who then recruited Charles Andrew Joseph Hendricks, 21, and Jeremy Lee Cade, 22.
Lynch and Hendricks broke into Lazenby’s home in Sylacauga in July 2011, shooting and stabbing him to death when he got home.
Hendricks and Cade then allegedly stole Lazenby’s car, drove it to Cahaba and torched it. The burned out vehicle was discovered the next morning and traced back to Lazenby. It was at this point that the body was discovered.
According to the status docket, Files and Haynes are each charged with four counts of capital murder for hire and two counts each of capital murder during the commission of a burglary and capital murder during the commission of a robbery.
A conviction for capital murder carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.
Across the hall, before Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth, both sides will be ready to try Cedrick Lamar Keith, 36, for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend, Magdelene Marbury in Childersburg.
Keith is accused of shooting Marbury, 26, in the head with a .38 caliber handgun at his residence on Shady Lane. She was dead when police responded to a 911 call, and Keith was arrested on the spot.
Kilgore said the district attorney’s office had recused itself, and the case would be prosecuted by state attorney general’s office.
A conviction for murder with a firearm carries a penalty of 20 to 99 years or life in prison.
Also in court this week:
• King accepted a guilty plea from Carlos Owens, 21, to burglary in the third degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea from Brandon Russell Horn, 36, for theft of property in the first degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea from Quenterius J. Armstrong, 21, for rape in the second degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea from James Christopher Green, 40, to burglary in the third degree. A count of possession of burglars tools was dismissed.
• King accepted guilty pleas fro Terrika Brewer, 22, to 11 counts of breaking into and entering a vehicle.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Lonnie Joe Wilson, 29, for escape in the third degree. Wilson was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Wayne Lamar Strown, 40, to theft of property in the second degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Joseph Paul Barnett, 21, to burglary in the third degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Colton Seth Keeton, 23, to fraudulent use of a credit or debit card. Six other counts of the same offense are due to be dismissed at sentencing.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Thomas Earl McMillian, 44 to burglary in the third degree.
• King accepted a guilty plea at arraignment from Jeremy Tood Whitley, 28, to fraudulent use of a credit or debit card. Six additional counts will be dismissed at sentencing.
• King accepted a plea on information from Amanda McElrath, 32, to forgery in the second degree. A plea on information means the case has not been presented to a grand jury.
• King accepted a plea on information from Matthew Wade Phillips, 27, to manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree.
• King accepted a plea on information from Charles Seth Landers, 25, to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, then sentenced him to four years in prison and three months probation, concurrent.
• King accepted a guilty plea from Jarrod Lynn Smith, 23, for manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment, and sentenced him to 20 years, 15 years, six months and six months, concurrent. Smith was arrested for manufacture in the first degree but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
• Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Rex Lee Barnes, 49, for burglary in the third degree.
• Hollingsworth revoked the bond of Tiffanie Dawn Hughes after she was arrested for theft of property in the second degree, 16 counts of fraudulent use of credit or debit card and possession of marijuana in the second degree. Hughes had been out on bond for burglary, Kilgore said.
• Hollingsworth accepted a plea on information from Lori Sanders Lett for possession of a controlled substance and sentenced her to 24 months in prison.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org