Early release denied for Dothan man charged with capital murder

Dothan man sentenced to 99 years in 2018 was denied early parole Wednesday.

A Dothan man sentenced to 99 years in prison last November was denied parole Wednesday.

Lameco Dechawn Turner was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death in January 2010. However, the case came back on appeal and a new trial was held in August 2018. Turner was then sentenced to 99 years.

According to the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, Turner has served 15 years, eight months of his sentence.

“Mr. Turner was denied today,” said Houston County/Henry County District Attorney Pat Jones. “I believe he is up for review in five years for consideration for early parole.

“I attended Mr. Turner’s parole hearing to voice the state’s concerns. I also spoke with the family members of the victim, and we’re pleased the parole board listened and denied early release for Mr. Turner.

Dothan police investigators charged Turner with capital murder in the April 20, 2004, death of Prakash Shah, who died after being shot during a robbery at the Southeast Mini Mart at Cottonwood Road and Third Avenue.

During Turner’s previous trial, former Dothan police Officer Frank Meredith said Turner admitted he pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting, and that there was no evidence to show it was an accident.

On appeal, however, Turner argued that his case suffered irreparable damage when confessions by his accomplices, who did not testify, were admitted into evidence through the testimony of the lead investigator. Turner argued he shot Shah by accident.

The lead investigator testified that witness accounts indicated that Turner shot Shah after he grabbed a phone to call police.

Turner argued on appeal that introduction of the confessions violated Turner’s constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him.

The conviction was reversed and remanded to court for a new trial.

According to lead counsel Aimee Smith, during Turner’s new trial, Judge Michael Conaway imposed a 110-year prison sentence, which she said was out of the jurisdiction of the courts.

Turner was one of the three people charged with murder in the shooting.

Turner’s brother, Cordell Turner, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murder and received a 99-year sentence. Turner’s cousin Ray Grace also was convicted and was sentenced to life in prison.

The family of Prakash Shah opposed the death penalty on religious grounds.

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