Motion to dismiss filed in Huntsville murder case after surveillance images released

"Definitely a continuing investigation, we can say this case is far from over," said Lt. Johnson with Huntsville police.

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 3:39 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2019 11:16 AM

UPDATE:

Jail records show DeMorris Lauderdale was released at 11:57 p.m. Friday.

Demorris Lauderdale

UPDATE:

11:00 p.m.

Demorris Lauderdale is still in the Madison County Jail and will likely not be released until Monday, even though the capital murder charge against him was dropped earlier Friday.

The sheriff's office said the judge assigned to the case needed to sign paperwork, but that did not happen.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said there is nothing abnormal about this happening, because the judicial system operates based on normal business hours.

Lauderdale's family did not want to comment. WAAY 31 reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union to get their take on the situation, but they have not responded to our email yet.

"We are continuing efforts to procure his release even now. DeMorris was glad the DA dismissed the charges against him but remains hopeful that an order of release is forthcoming before the weekend is over. He is very eager to return home, hug his mom and dad, be with his children again, go back to work, and get this whole terrible episode behind him. He has now been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit since March 27," said Lauderdale's lawyer, Greg Varner.

---------

3:45 p.m.

Greg Varner, Demorris Lauderdale's lawyer, tells WAAY 31 "The District Attorney's office has filed a Motion to Dismiss within the last hour. I am working now to process his release."

According to Huntsville Police Department, Lauderdale remains in jail as of 3:45 p.m. Friday and it may take several hours for paperwork to come through.

The department says he should be released no later than 11:59 p.m. Friday.

"Definitely a continuing investigation, we can say this case is far from over," said Lt. Johnson with Huntsville police.

---------

From earlier:

A man charged with capital murder says he's innocent and surveillance images will prove it.

The pictures show Demorris Lauderdale hundreds of miles from Huntsville, around the time Austin Rich was murdered.

Huntsville police and the Madison County District Attorney's Office both told WAAY 31 on Thursday, they are looking into the new claims made by Lauderdale's attorney. The district attorney's office said it's working to get to the truth.

Chauncey Bryant, who lives in Huntsville, said his friend lives at the Brixworth at Bridgestreet apartments where the March murder happened.

"Man, that would mess up somebody's whole life," Bryant said.

Police charged Lauderdale with capital murder after they said he shot and killed Rich inside Rich's girlfriend's apartment in a drug-related robbery.

Court documents filed this week by Lauderdale's attorney show a receipt from a gas station in Woodstock, Georgia, some 300 miles from Huntsville. The receipt shows he bought drinks and snacks a little more than an hour before Rich's murder.

The motion filed by Lauderdale's attorney states, "It is physically impossible for the accused defendant to have committed the crime for which he is accused."

About twenty minutes after that gas station stop, surveillance cameras captured images at a middle school in Georgia.

Lauderdale's attorney says his client was arriving at work, and his time card punches prove he was there as well.

"It's real unfortunate, man, like if the evidence is saying he's not there," Bryant said.

Court documents state how Lauderdale became a suspect, saying in part, "From information and belief a witness at the scene, identified your accused defendant as the shooter to investigators and subsequently made two separate identifications through photo-array line-ups performed by the Huntsville Criminal Investigation Division."

Rich's neighbors say they hope whoever killed him is caught.

"That's kind of scary to know there's a killer on the loose," Bryant said.

Lauderdale has been in the Madison County Jail without bond ever since his arrest last month. WAAY 31 reached out to his attorney to learn more about the evidence, and we're still waiting to hear back Thursday night.

Bond is typically denied in capital murder cases. However, Lauderdale's attorney is asking that if the case isn't dropped, his client at least be given a reasonable bond so he can prepare his defense.

A hearing for that is set for May 8th.

READ: MOTION TO NOLLE PROSSE

READ: MOTION TO ESTABLISH BAIL

READ: OBJECTION TO MOTION TO CONTINUE

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