BRIGHTON, Ala (WIAT) – The Bessemer Cutoff of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office is working with Brighton Police to solve several cold cases in the area. District Attorney Lynneice Washington says the old leadership at Brighton PD lead to 5 murder cases not being investigated.
“When I started inquiring about evidence, whether there was anyone interviewed, the answer was no. That was totally unacceptable. We have human and lives and it seemed like there was a disregard. I don’t want the citizens in the cut off to think, that just because you live in Brighton, that there is no justice for you nor your family.” said Washington.
The murders of Eric Dalton, Ronzell Duncan, Phillip Jackson, Edward Tarrant,a nd Marketia Holiness had not been investigated.
Vera Wyllis hopes her son’s cold case will be solved. Robert Antonio Howard served as a marine for 12 years. Howard was killed in April 2015. His body found in wooded area in Brighton. Vera Wyllis says at the time she did not believe Brighton PD was working to solve the case
“When I went down to sign a release form to them on an item of my sons. When I seen they tore out a peace of paper and wrote it on there, and I had to sign that peace of paper and never got a copy of it, I knew I was in trouble. Our family was in trouble as far as getting justice. I knew that day.” said Wyllis.
New Brighton PD Chief Larry Woods says his department is working to change that by working with the District Attorney’s Office and reconstructing the evidence room. Wyllis says it gives her and other families new hope.
“Whenever I hear, I pray daily. And I ask them to continue to pray daily. We’re going to get justice and we’ll never give up. Never give up.” said Wyllis.
The District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone with information on these cases to please come forward to law enforcement.