Motion to dismiss filed in Huntsville murder case after surveillance images released

"Definitely a continuing investigation, we can say this case is far from over," said Lt. Johnson with Huntsville police.

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 3:39 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2019 11:16 AM

UPDATE:

Jail records show DeMorris Lauderdale was released at 11:57 p.m. Friday.

Demorris Lauderdale

UPDATE:

11:00 p.m.

Demorris Lauderdale is still in the Madison County Jail and will likely not be released until Monday, even though the capital murder charge against him was dropped earlier Friday.

The sheriff's office said the judge assigned to the case needed to sign paperwork, but that did not happen.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said there is nothing abnormal about this happening, because the judicial system operates based on normal business hours.

Lauderdale's family did not want to comment. WAAY 31 reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union to get their take on the situation, but they have not responded to our email yet.

"We are continuing efforts to procure his release even now. DeMorris was glad the DA dismissed the charges against him but remains hopeful that an order of release is forthcoming before the weekend is over. He is very eager to return home, hug his mom and dad, be with his children again, go back to work, and get this whole terrible episode behind him. He has now been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit since March 27," said Lauderdale's lawyer, Greg Varner.

---------

3:45 p.m.

Greg Varner, Demorris Lauderdale's lawyer, tells WAAY 31 "The District Attorney's office has filed a Motion to Dismiss within the last hour. I am working now to process his release."

According to Huntsville Police Department, Lauderdale remains in jail as of 3:45 p.m. Friday and it may take several hours for paperwork to come through.

The department says he should be released no later than 11:59 p.m. Friday.

"Definitely a continuing investigation, we can say this case is far from over," said Lt. Johnson with Huntsville police.

---------

From earlier:

A man charged with capital murder says he's innocent and surveillance images will prove it.

The pictures show Demorris Lauderdale hundreds of miles from Huntsville, around the time Austin Rich was murdered.

Huntsville police and the Madison County District Attorney's Office both told WAAY 31 on Thursday, they are looking into the new claims made by Lauderdale's attorney. The district attorney's office said it's working to get to the truth.

Chauncey Bryant, who lives in Huntsville, said his friend lives at the Brixworth at Bridgestreet apartments where the March murder happened.

"Man, that would mess up somebody's whole life," Bryant said.

Police charged Lauderdale with capital murder after they said he shot and killed Rich inside Rich's girlfriend's apartment in a drug-related robbery.

Court documents filed this week by Lauderdale's attorney show a receipt from a gas station in Woodstock, Georgia, some 300 miles from Huntsville. The receipt shows he bought drinks and snacks a little more than an hour before Rich's murder.

The motion filed by Lauderdale's attorney states, "It is physically impossible for the accused defendant to have committed the crime for which he is accused."

About twenty minutes after that gas station stop, surveillance cameras captured images at a middle school in Georgia.

Lauderdale's attorney says his client was arriving at work, and his time card punches prove he was there as well.

"It's real unfortunate, man, like if the evidence is saying he's not there," Bryant said.

Court documents state how Lauderdale became a suspect, saying in part, "From information and belief a witness at the scene, identified your accused defendant as the shooter to investigators and subsequently made two separate identifications through photo-array line-ups performed by the Huntsville Criminal Investigation Division."

Rich's neighbors say they hope whoever killed him is caught.

"That's kind of scary to know there's a killer on the loose," Bryant said.

Lauderdale has been in the Madison County Jail without bond ever since his arrest last month. WAAY 31 reached out to his attorney to learn more about the evidence, and we're still waiting to hear back Thursday night.

Bond is typically denied in capital murder cases. However, Lauderdale's attorney is asking that if the case isn't dropped, his client at least be given a reasonable bond so he can prepare his defense.

A hearing for that is set for May 8th.

READ: MOTION TO NOLLE PROSSE

READ: MOTION TO ESTABLISH BAIL

READ: OBJECTION TO MOTION TO CONTINUE

Huntsville
Few Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Florence
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 82°
Fayetteville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Scottsboro
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 232061

Reported Deaths: 2922
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34370552
Davidson29801325
Knox1183387
Hamilton11097102
Rutherford11031106
Williamson661848
Sumner5636107
Wilson440253
Putnam411053
Montgomery385751
Out of TN379435
Unassigned37653
Madison361378
Bradley340821
Sullivan318844
Sevier314920
Blount310231
Washington308043
Maury307435
Robertson248539
Hamblen232743
Tipton219222
Gibson205437
Dyer202326
Hardeman178732
Coffee176020
Trousdale17407
Obion163617
Bedford159020
Dickson156218
Wayne15607
Greene155650
Anderson155513
Loudon154010
Fayette152022
McMinn150832
Cumberland148924
Lawrence146217
Jefferson145818
Weakley143425
Carter141532
Henderson135425
Monroe134823
Warren13399
Hardin131319
Lauderdale130818
Macon125724
Franklin121115
Haywood119025
Roane11857
Overton111211
Johnson11046
Hawkins109923
Carroll109324
McNairy108825
White107614
Marshall10528
Rhea104816
Cheatham96911
Lake9683
Smith93313
Bledsoe9244
Cocke92212
Giles89234
Campbell8647
Fentress8497
Lincoln8012
Crockett76620
Henry74110
Hickman73913
Chester71214
Marion6999
DeKalb67216
Decatur62511
Grainger5314
Grundy5168
Claiborne4956
Union4932
Polk46913
Jackson4165
Humphreys4094
Morgan4086
Houston38914
Benton3879
Cannon3862
Unicoi3641
Clay36312
Lewis3502
Sequatchie3294
Scott3244
Stewart3087
Meigs2944
Moore2452
Pickett2445
Perry2041
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

Community Events