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Cracker Barrel parking lot shooting case stayed

From The Trussville Tribune staff reports

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Several motions were filed in court the week before a preliminary hearing was set to take place in the case of the Pinson man accused of the deadly shooting in the Trussville Cracker Barrel parking lot.

Randy Young was shot in the parking lot of the restaurant on Norrell Drive on March 28, 2019. Bryan Hancock was originally charged with attempted murder. After Young died two days later, the charge against Hancock was upgraded to capital murder. He was given no bond and was not given the opportunity to bond out of the Jefferson County Jail.

On April 22, 2019, Hancock filed for a bond to be set on the capital murder charge, according to court documents. His attorneys said he was not given the right to a appear before a judge on that charge within the 72 hours required time. Furthermore, they said he should be given bond on his charge because he was acting in self-defense the night of the shooting. His attorneys also pointed out that Hancock had no prior criminal record. They said he would not be a threat to the community and that he was not a flight risk.

Young’s family said, despite claims by the defendant that he was acting in self-defense, they would continue to seek justice. They did not believe Young would have been a threat to Hancock.

Court records show Hancock’s attorneys filed another motion on May 18, after bond was not given to their client. On his behalf, they requested immediate release from the Jefferson County Jail. They cited the court’s procedures were in violation of Alabama law because Hancock was not granted a preliminary hearing on the capital murder charge within 21 days of sending a written request.

Hancock did make a court appearance on April 1. On that same day, his charge was upgraded from attempted murder to capital murder, after the victim died.

During the process of the attempted murder charge being upgraded to capital murder, the case was transferred from District Judge Katrina Ross to Presiding Circuit Judge Clyde Jones for reassignment. Hancock’s bond was set at “no bond” on April 2. The court did not receive a request for a preliminary hearing on the capital murder charge until April 10. Two days later, Judge Jones assigned the case to Judge Tracie Todd. On April 19, a preliminary hearing was set for May 30. Hancock’s attorney filed a request for bond on April 22. On May 18, they filed a request for immediate release.

In response to the requests, District Judge Tracie Todd said in an order on May 22, 2019:

Bryan Hancock, Jefferson County Jail

Defendant’s Motion for bond was filed approximately eighteen days after the seventy-two hours lapsed, and more than seven days before the cases were assigned to Judge Todd. Defendant’s Motion for Bond is untimely and should have been raised with Judge Jones. Judge Todd did not have jurisdiction to commence a 72 Hour Hearing.

The seventy-two hour period lapsed more than forty days ago. Therefore, the Defendant’s request for relief on claims related DOCUMENT 42 to ARCrP Rule 4.3 or Rule 7.2 is hereby rendered moot…

Defendant raised the issue for the first time on May 18, 2019 in the Motion for Immediate Release, roughly thirty days after the Scheduling Order was entered. There was ample time to cure the scheduling defect and comply with ARCrP Rule 5.1 well within the twenty-one-day period. Nevertheless, Defendant “by his own voluntary conduct invite[d] error and [now seeks] to profit thereby.” Therefore, Defendant’s request for relief pursuant to ARCrP Rule 5.1 is denied. A determination relating to the claim raised under Ex parte Patel, 879 So.2d 532 (Ala. 2002) will be made at the preliminary hearing on Thursday, May 30, 2019 as permitted under Alabama law

Hancock’s attorneys have since filed a petition for Habeus Corpus, officially asking to be brought before the judge to be shown a valid reason for confinement.
Judge Tracie Todd transferred the petition to Judge Jones. In an order, Judge Todd said all other matters in the case are stayed until a determination is made on the petition.
Another motion has been filed by the victim’s stepfather, who was there the night Randy Young was shot. He is listed as a witness in the case and is requesting a video deposition for the trial. He is suffering from lung cancer and attorneys said his condition could deteriorate at any time.
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