Murder of Perry Griffin Solved After 13 Years

During the early morning hours of June 26, 2007, Perry Griffin, an employee of Panhandle Converters and Scrap, was going to go out of town to purchase items for the business.  Perry was preparing to leave the business with a large amount of cash, as he had done before numerous times.  As Perry was preparing to leave the parking lot of the business, two suspects armed with weapons confronted him.

Evidence recovered at the scene led investigators to believe the suspects may have intended to physically restrain Perry, and possibly take him to another location.  It appeared Perry resisted and, during a physical struggle, a suspect fired his weapon and fatally wounded Perry.

The two suspects fled from the scene on foot, after collecting the large sum of money in Perry’s possession.  It is believed the third suspect was waiting nearby in a vehicle.

At the time of the incident in 2007, investigators worked diligently around the clock on the case.  Persons of interest were developed and countless interviews were conducted.  The case had remained unsolved and multiple investigators had worked numerous hours in an attempt to bring  this case to a close.  Due to a lack of sufficient evidence, they were unable to close the case.

In June of 2020, new information surfaced on the case.  Several people have been re-interviewed, several new people have been interviewed, and the original case file has been reviewed meticulously.  As a result of this recent investigation and with efforts during the original investigation, sufficient evidence has now been gathered to allow for arrest warrants to be obtained for the arrest of the following three suspects:

Kevin Shawn Thornton (48) of Dothan was charged with Murder, Robbery 1st degree, and a SORNA violation.  Thornton is being held without bail on the Murder and Robbery charges and a $15,000 bond on the SORNA violation.  Thornton was 35 years old at the time of the murder and was an employee at Panhandle Converters.

Jessie Jerome Swain (47) of Dothan was charged with Murder and Robbery 1st degree and is being held without bond.  Swain was 34 years old at the time of the murder and was an employee at Panhandle Converters.

Kendrick Fitzgerald Bryant (30) was charged with Murder and Robbery 1st degree.  Bryant is currently in an Alabama Prison and his arrest is forthcoming.  Bryant was 17 years old at the time of the murder and his connection is through Swain.

The Dothan Police Department would like to thank many agencies for their assistance in this case, to include the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the US Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Shots fired during Armed Robbery Lands Two in Jail

On July 7, 2020, Dothan Police Officers responded to an armed robbery in progress at a local check cashing business in the 1100 block of North Alice Street.  According to reports by the business employees, a suspect entered the business armed with a handgun and demanded money.  The suspect fired shots towards three employees at the back of the business.  As the suspect was fleeing out of the front door, the suspect fired more shots towards an employee behind the counter.  No employees were injured during the incident.  Investigators were able to identify the suspect through employees who recognized the suspect, identified as Deshone Donald, since Donald was in the business minutes earlier cashing a check.

On 7/10/2020, the U.S. Marshal’s Service Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force apprehended Donald and the alleged getaway driver, Fredrick Ricks, in Quincy, FL.  Dothan Police Department would like to thank the Task Force for their assistance in this case.

Deshone Elesquial Donald (31) of Quincy, FL was charged with four counts of Attempted Murder and one count of Robbery 1st Degree and is being held without bond.

Fredrick Carl Ricks (28) of Quincy, FL was charged with one count of Robbery 1st Degree with a bond of $10,000.

 

Notice about fireworks inside the city limits

As the July 4th holiday approaches, we remind our citizens fireworks are illegal in the City Limits of Dothan. The Police Department will be patrolling and may issue citations for illegal use of fireworks. For those readers who may legally use fireworks at their home (again, this is no one in the City Limits of Dothan!!) we would like to encourage safety first! We encourage those within the City Limits to visit a professionally produced fireworks show such as the “Fireworks on the Fairgrounds” beginning at 9:00 PM at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety lists nine safety tips that encourage firework users to celebrate our nation’s heritage on the Fourth of July safely.

If discharging fireworks where it is legal to do so:

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Always have water handy (a hose or bucket).
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should
  • wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
  • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
  • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives!

Dothan Police Narcotics Officers Make Drug Trafficking Arrest

On June 23, 2020 Dothan Police Narcotics Investigators arrested 29 year old Diante Teivon Vickers and charged him with one count of Drug Trafficking. 

The arrest came after an approximate three month investigation. Narcotics officers made a traffic stop on a vehicle that Mr. Vickers was occupying. During the course of the traffic stop a police canine was used and alerted that the vehicle contained narcotics. 

Officers searched the vehicle and found approximately 400 grams of synthetic analog used to make synthetic marijuana. Mr. Vickers was charged with Drug Trafficking and was also arrested for 8 outstanding warrants for failure to appear. Mr. Vickers is currently on bond for Drug Trafficking and a bond amount of $1,000,000.00 was set.

Woman Charged with Felony for Biting an Officer While Resisting Arrest

On June 21, 2020, the Dothan Police Department responded to the 700 block of State Avenue for a disturbance call.  When officers arrived, contact was made with the suspect, Pamela Reynolds, who was intoxicated.  Officers attempted to take Reynolds into custody and she began to resist arrest.  During the struggle, Reynolds bit the hand of one officer causing a laceration to the officer’s hand.

Pamela Faye Reynolds (50) was charged with Assault 2nd Degree with a $15,000 bond.

Man arrested for Sodomy

On June 20, 2020, the Dothan Police Department was called to a residence in the 400 block of Mustang Drive.  It was alleged the suspect, Andrew Townsend, had oral sex with a victim that was under the age of 12.  During an interview with investigators, Townsend admitted to the offense.

To protect the identity of the victim, no further information will be released.

Andrew Townsend (18) was charged with Sodomy 1st Degree with a bond of $60,000.

Traffic Fatality

On June 21st at 3:00 AM, Dothan Police were dispatched to a vehicle accident in the 1000 block of Cottonwood Rd. A single vehicle was traveling South on Cottonwood road and left the roadway causing the vehicle to strike a sign pole. The Passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene. The passenger has been identified as 21 year old Nikeya Brown, of Pansey, Al. The driver of the vehicle was rushed to Southeast Health and is listed in critical condition.

The crash is being investigated by the Dothan Police Department Crash Team.

The Dothan Police Department would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Brown family.

Steven L. Parrish
Chief of Police

Teen Captured after Robbing Two Convenience Stores Charged as Adult

On June 6, 2020,  a subject entered a local convenience store in the 100 block of East Cottonwood Road.  The subject produced a small handgun and demanded money and tobacco products.  The subject fled the scene prior to police arrival.

On June 12, 2020, a subject entered a local convenience store in the 1300 block of East Selma Street.  The subject produced a small handgun and demanded money from the clerk.  It was determined this subject was the same as the robbery 6 days earlier.  Two hours after this robbery, officers with the Dothan Police Department apprehended Nicholas Malik George  after he was linked to the crimes.  Upon being interviewed by police, George admitted to both robberies.  The severity of the crime and use of a firearm lead investigators to charge George as an adult.

Nicholas Malik George (16) of Dothan was charged with two counts of Robbery 1st Degree with bonds totaling $120,000.

Nicholas Malik George- Two Counts of Robbery 1st Degree

Updated Press Release on Ducks from Emerald Lake

On May 28, 2020, Investigators from the Dothan Police Department collected a deceased duck from the banks of Emerald Lake to sent it for analysis.  The duck was sent to the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn, AL.  The duck and a water sample from the lake were analyzed by scientists.

On June 5, 2020, the results of the analysis was received by investigators.  According to the State Diagnostic Laboratory, “No evidence of an infectious etiology was observed upon necropsy and histopathologic examination.  Heavy metal levels are within acceptable levels and pesticides were not detected upon toxicological analysis. ”

The report continued, “Botulism remains as the most likely cause of death.  Ducks often contract botulism from feeding on decaying vegetation or other organic material on the bottom of ponds.  Botulism more often affects ducks than geese, which may explain the mortality observed in only ducks”.  The Diagnostic Laboratory found no evidence of any poison in the duck or the water sample supplied.

The Dothan Police Department wants to thank the members of the community for bringing this to our attention.  We hope the answers bring closure from some residents in that area.  The Dothan Police Department would also like to thank the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory for their assistance and expertise in this case.

Press Release: Deceased Wildlife at Emerald Lake

On 5/25/2020, several concerned citizens contacted the Dothan Police Department about ducks and geese that were found deceased.  A post made on a social media site alleged the wildlife had been killed by an unknown poison.  At this time, there is no evidence to support the accusation that any poison was used on wildlife at Emerald Lake although it cannot be ruled out at this stage in the investigation.  The Dothan Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is currently investigating the case to determine if the deaths were caused by environmental causes or by a criminal action.

Due to the unusual nature of the investigation, the Dothan Police Department is currently seeking advice and support from various public and private entities in an attempt to provide answers to the members of the community.