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Five sex offenders living in Sheffield motel spark controversy

State Fire Marshal to inspect Regal Inn to see if the building is being used as it was designed.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 7:07 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 7:27 PM

Another motel in the Shoals will be inspected by the State Fire Marshal's Office after numerous sex offenders were found permanently living in a motel.

Regal Inn Express located on North Jackson Highway in Sheffield is currently housing five sex offenders. Most recently, two sex offenders who were living at the Four Way Inn relocated to the Regal Inn. Neighbors in the area told WAAY31 over the weekend Sheffield police did notify them of the two sex offenders who moved in.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement's sex offender registry, Robert Garner was convicted in 1989 for second degree rape in Lauderdale County. He is currently living at the Regal Inn. William Mathis was charged with possession of obscene material in Shelby County, he lives at the Regal Inn. Patrick Story was charged with child pornography in Etowah County, he is listed as living at the Regal Inn. Mykell Devon Ramsey was charged with child pornography in Lauderdale County, he is currently living at the Regal Inn. Joseph Robert Jackson was convicted of first degree rape and attempted kidnapping in Colbert County, he too lives at the Regal Inn.

WAAY 31 called the state parole board to ask them why they allow sex offenders to live in hotels and motels. We haven't heard a response back from them. WAAY 31 did learn if sex offenders are living in motels, they aren't breaking any laws, as long as they are not near a school or church.

Recently the Four Way Inn in Tuscumbia was housing sex offenders in an inmate reentry program. The State Fire Marshal found fire code violations at that location, because it was not being used as it was designed.

We brought that question to the state again about the Regal Inn, because if they are permanently housing people, what type of fire codes must the motel abide by? Residential or motel?

The State Fire Marshal told us he is sending an inspector to check out the Regal Inn to see if it is being used as it was designed. If a motel is housing sex offenders, they don't even have to tell you. That revelation shocks some people.

"They need to be able to live somewhere but absolutely notices need to be posted, " said Colbert County resident, Ralph Ables. "Especially if it's in a hotel environment where people are bringing their families in so they can make an informed decision to stay there."

We called the Regal Inn and asked them why they allow sex offenders to live there. They said to call back later and try and speak with the owner or manager. The State Fire Marshal said once an inspection is done, he will let us know what his investigator found.

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