Man Arrested for Kidnapping, Burglary and Intimidating a Witness

On August 9, 2020, Dothan Police Officers received a call about a possible kidnapping in the 100 block of Arrowhead Drive.  When officers arrived on scene, the suspect, James Johnson III, fled out of a bedroom window and attempted to flee the scene.  Officers were able to apprehend the suspect.  Through interviews with witnesses, Officers determined Johnson III unlawfully entered the victim’s residence armed with a handgun.  When the victim got inside the residence, Johnson III produced the handgun and held the victim against her will.

Johnson III was attempting to deter the victim from going to a legal proceeding involving Johnson III.  The firearm that was recovered and used by Johnson III was revealed to be stolen.  The Dothan Police Department remains committed to protecting victims and witnesses that report on crimes.

James Morris Johnson III (21) of Dothan was charged with Burglary 1st, Kidnapping 1st, Receiving Stolen Property 2nd, and Intimidating a Witness.  Johnson III is being held without bond on Burglary and Kidnapping charges.  Johnson III has bonds totaling $20,000 on the other two charges.

Shooting on Southport Lands One in Jail

On August 1, 2020, Dothan Police Officers responded to East Southport Street in reference to a subject that was shot and crashed his vehicle into a tree.  Investigators responded to the scene and determined the shooting occurred in the 500 block of South Appletree Street.  Through the investigation, Investigators developed a suspect, Trayvon Leon Dorsey, and issued warrants for his arrest in relation to the shooting.

On August 7, 2020, a Dothan Police Officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 3200 block of Reeves Street.  In the backseat, Dorsey was found attempting to disassemble a firearm.  Dorsey was arrested for his outstanding warrant.  While looking at the firearm in Dorsey’s possession, it was discovered the serial number had been filed off the weapon.

Trayvon Leon Dorsey (19) of Cuthbert, GA was charged with Attempted Murder and Possession of an Altered Firearm with bonds totaling $75,000.

Dothan Police Investigating Homicide

On 8/9/2020 at about 0200 hours, Dothan Police Department received reports of a person shot in the 100 block of West Powell Street.  Upon arrival, officers found the victim in his vehicle not responding.  Despite life saving efforts by police and medics, the victim died from his injuries on the scene.  The victim has been identified as Cortez Fitzgerald Hill (25) of Dothan.

We offer our condolences to the family of Mr. Hill.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

The Dothan Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is actively working every lead on this case as this is an ongoing investigation.  Reports are there were a large number of people in the area at the time of the shooting.  If anyone has any information, please call the Dothan Police Department at 334-793-0215 or call anonymously to Crimestoppers at 334-793-7000.

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