TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A judge has ruled that a suspect who is accused of fatally shooting a Tuscaloosa Police officer is competent to stand trial.
Luther Watkins is charged with capital murder in the 2019 death of fallen officer Dornell Cousette. Tuscaloosa City Council President Kip Tyner, who was friends with the officer and his family, says he misses Cousette.
“He was just such a wonderful person and always had a smile on his face and always had a joke but he was always serious about his business and what you hope all police officers would be like,” Tyner said. “I still find it hard to believe when I see his name on the street named after him, it’s still very sad.”
Jim Standridge is Watkins’s defense attorney. He says there is still more work to be done on finding out what happened the night Officer Cousette was killed.
“We intend to get to the bottom of what happened, and we intend to uncover every stone and get to the bottom of what happened,” Standridge said. “The State is seeking the death penalty in this case […] and it’s our responsibility as his attorneys to do everything we can do legally and ethically to defend him and that’s what we intend to do.”
Court documents say Watkins’s attorneys have two weeks to object to the judge’s ruling. No trial date has currently been set in this capital murder case.