Suspect in Ala. Police Slayings to be Tried as Adult


FAYETTE, Ala. (AP) -- An 18-year-old charged in the shooting deaths of two Fayette police officers and a dispatcher in June will be tried as an adult.

Devin Darnell Thompson had applied for youthful offender status, but Fayette Circuit Judge James Moore denied his request during a Monday hearing.

Also at the hearing, Thompson pleaded innocent by reason of mental disease or defect to capital murder charges, his attorney said.

Thompson faces the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. If he had been granted youthful offender status, he could have served no more than three years in prison.

Thompson is charged in the June 7 deaths of officers Arnold Strickland and James Crump and dispatcher Leslie "Ace" Mealer. He is accused of shooting them in the Fayette Police Department after being arrested for driving a stolen car.

Thompson's court-appointed attorney, Jim Standridge of Tuscaloosa, said his client will receive a mental evaluation at Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa. Thompson remains in the Tuscaloosa County Jail without bail.

District Attorney Chris McCool said he expects a trial to be set for early next year.

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