Home Owner Loses Everything in Fire

January 21, 2019- On Monday, just past the noon hour, Ashland Fire Department was paged out to a structure fire at 81185 Hwy 9 in Ashland.Heavy smoke coming from the house belonging to Terri Hammonds was discovered by workers who were installing a fence around the house, and they quickly took action. These workers knew that Terri, who was a huge animal lover, had pets inside and she was not at home. They were able to rescue the dogs, but were unable to save her guinea pig. Continue reading Home Owner Loses Everything in Fire

High Speed Chase w/ Shots Fired Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder

On December 6, 2018, a Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling highway 9, just north of Delta when an unidentified vehicle was observed traveling north driving from one lane to the other. When the deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop to identify the driver, the driver abruptly turned around on the highway and began traveling south.

The driver was stopped at the intersection of Haynes Mountain Road were a verbal altercation directed at the deputy by the driver began. Moments later, the driver sped off traveling down Haynes Mountain Road with the deputy in pursuit. During the pursuit the driver fired shots directed at the pursuing deputy. That chase eventually ended in Randolph County on County Road 313.

The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the Clay County Detention Center. Dustin Hugh McDonald, age 29 of Lineville was charged with Attempted Murder, Attempting to Elude, Criminal Mischief 1st, Carrying a  pistol without a permit, possession of a altered firearm, possession of controlled substance(3counts), possession of drug paraphernalia(3counts) and possession of marijuana 2nd. McDonald remains in the Clay County Detention Center with bonds totaling $213,000.00.  

Also in a unrelated incident, Clay County Deputies recovered a vehicle on Saturday, December 22, 2018 that had been reported stolen on August 1st, 2018. That vehicle was recovered in a nearby county and additional details will be released at a later date.  



Challenging DNA of Human Remains ends 9-year Mystery

Clara Rogers

Remains found identified as missing Clay County Woman On July 09, 2010, Clara Vaughn Rogers, age 74, was reported missing from her home @ 4237 Cheaha Road, Munford, in the Northern most part of Clay County. Joseph Edward Rogers, husband, reported Clara Rogers missing at approximately 3pm that date. Mr. Rogers told Sheriff Alexander and Sheriff’s Investigators that he had last seen his wife around 8am that morning when he left the residence to cut grass and do yard work.

Upon returning, Mr. Rogers stated he could not locate his wife anywhere in the residence or on the property. Mr. Rogers stated all vehicles were accounted for and no one had been at the residence that day. Mr. Rogers told deputies his wife suffered from Dementia and had possibly wandered away from the house.

Sheriff’s deputies, Clay County Rescue Squad personnel and the Alabama Department of Public Safety Rotor Wing Search & Rescue personnel were dispatched to the mountainous wooded area around the Rogers Residence attempting to locate Mrs. Rogers. In all, personnel searched the wooded and mountainous area for approximately 3 days in an attempt to locate the missing woman. Those searches proved unsuccessful.

In June of 2011, Sheriff Latham organized a search effort with Cadaver K-9 and law enforcement personnel around the Roger’s residence. Later in 2011 and thru the spring of 2013, several efforts were made by Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies aided by members of the Talladega Sheriff’s Office, Lineville Police Department and Ashland Police Department in the search of Salt Creek and surrounding area of the Rogers home.

On June 1st 2013, a group of hikers were hiking Salt Creek Falls and found what appeared to be parts of human remains in Salt Creek just north of the falls in Clay County. Those remains were received by Sheriff’s Investigators and transported to the States Forensics Lab in Montgomery. Results to positively identify the identity was challenging.

Clay County Sheriff’s Investigators retrieved DNA samples from a Rogers family member in an effort for a more precise match. Those remains and the DNA samples were then transfered to the FBI Lab Quantico, Va.

A report to Clay County Sheriff’s Office from the FBI Lab dated September 27, 2018 confirmed that the remains found on June 1st, 2013 were the remains of the missing Clay County woman, Clara Vaugh Rogers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rogers family as they are able to have closure in their time of sorrow, states Sheriff Latham.

Family Still Seeking Answers in Brother’s Murder

Today is a symbolic, yet very sad day for Ruby Crawford Fuller. Her younger brother, Doug Crawford would have celebrated his 61st birthday today if his life had not been cut short seven years ago. Doug was 54 years old when he was murdered in a violent manner.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, Clay County dispatchers received a call in the early morning of a fire at a mobile home off Mack Crawford Road in Ashland. The homeowner was having work done on the front porch, and workers arrived that morning to find a fire. When the workers looked through the window, they said they saw someone inside, who appeared unresponsive.

Once authorities arrived and the fire was extinguished, the body of 54-year-old James Douglas Crawford, was found in the living room. It was soon discovered in addition to being burned, Doug also had a bullet wound, most likely occurring before the fire started. It is unknown what the actual cause of death was, whether it was the bullet wound, the smoke inhalation, or a combination of both, but his murder has never been solved.

Doug Crawford

Ruby and siblings have done everything in their power to find the person(s) responsible for their brother’s murder over the course of the past seven years. They have kept in close contact with the authorities throughout the years as to how the investigation has been going. Ruby can tell you every piece of information released to them involving the case.

Sheriff Latham reported that this was still a very active case, and as in any case, as time passes, investigative matters become a more difficult task. But nonetheless, Sheriff Ray Latham still presses on trying to solve Doug’s murder and give this family closure.

Through the combined efforts of the Crawford family, the state of Alabama, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, a substantial reward of $25,000 is still being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Doug’s death. The Crawford family is hopeful that this reward will help keep the case from going too cold.

The lack of closure has been very hard for Ruby. Doug was part of a family of seven children, and now there are only four of them are left. Ruby stated that she and Doug used to be very close,” He drove all the way across the United States to give me away at my wedding, but time had separated us”, says Ruby, “I think about him every single day.”

The Crawford family tries not to get discouraged about the length of time that has passed with no answers. “It was hard enough having to bury our mother without her being able to know who was responsible. We know whoever did this will eventually have to pay for it, whether it be in this world or not, but we wanted to see them pay for it while still here on Earth.”

If anyone has any information on this crime, please contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, 256-354-2176. You can also visit their website, www.clayso.net and submit an anonymous tip. 

Inmate charged with animal cruelty

Source-ABC 33/40

A man already in jail for a probation violation faces a new felony charge after he allegedly put a cat into a dryer.

Court records show Harley Newman is now being charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Charging documents show Newman is accused of taking a cat and putting it in a dryer at the Clay County jail February 2nd and then turning the dryer on for a few seconds.

Sheriff Jim Studdard said the cat could often be found around the jail sally port.

Newman had his initial appearance on the animal cruelty charge Thursday.

Recently Burglarized Property Owner Makes Irate Outburst at Ashland Council Meeting

The Ashland Council met Monday, February 4, 2019 for the regular scheduled meeting to conduct city business. Discussion in the planning session prior to the meeting included the process of attaining a new truck for the police department.

This vehicle would not be used to patrol or used in high pursuit, but yet as a functional admin vehicle to be used as needed. This purchase would also take one of the chargers out of  fleet circulation. Chief Stanford explained that the chargers were eating up their  expense budget with vehicle repairs. Continue reading Recently Burglarized Property Owner Makes Irate Outburst at Ashland Council Meeting

Arrest Made for Possible Embezzlement from Ashland Motel


January 30, 2019 

Press Release Issued by Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford

Over the last couple of weeks the Ashland Police Department received word from the executor of the estate of Mr. Scott Young, which someone was taking money from the hotel, and had done so since the executor had received the order giving authority over the estate. A report was made and Investigator Corey Dickinson began working with the executor to go through the books and receipts.

On Friday, January 25, 2019, officers from the Ashland Police Department, Lineville Police Department, and Clay County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant for the property, looking for any and all financial records. At the time that the operation concluded, no persons were arrested. 

On January 28, 2019, Inv. Corey Dickinson and the executor met and went over the receipts and paperwork. It was determined that someone had been taking money from the motel, and the person managing it was responsible.

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Inv. Dickinson obtained warrants for the arrest of Mr. Ben Parsons, and officers from the Ashland Police Department located Mr. Parsons at the motel and took him into custody. Mr. Parsons was charged with Theft of Property 3rd Degree, which is a Class D Felony, and could face up to 1 year in prison.

Arrests made in Stolen Guns Cases

Over the past several weeks there have been multiple burglaries and thefts that have occurred in the Clay County area. Investigators with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office along with investigators from the Lineville Police Department have been working diligently on these crimes.

As a result of their investigation, information was developed that led to the execution of a search warrant at a residence in Randolph County. A stolen AR-15 rifle was recovered at that residence and other evidence was recovered that led investigators back to the Cragford area of Clay County, where they recovered several stolen firearms that had been taken in the burglaries.

Some of the items recovered was a 12 gauge pump shotgun and a Desert Eagle 50 caliber handgun. Arrested in the investigation was B/M Jaedon Smith and W/M Garret Meek of Clay County and B/M Detrick Parker of Randolph County. This investigation is still ongoing.

Smith was also arrested prior to this on January 11th by Talladega County Police for resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude on a $1500 bond.  Smith was then extradited to Clay County for the above charges. He was bonded out from both facilities.


On 01/11/19, Clay County Sheriff’s deputies were conducting a traffic safety check point in the Hollins area when deputies made contact with a vehicle that was had the strong odor of marihuana emitting from inside the vehicle.

After deputies removed the occupants from the vehicle a B/M passenger fled on foot and after brief foot pursuit deputies recovered a loaded 9mm pistol that had been dropped by the passenger.  The pistol had been reported stolen from Etowah County.  Also recovered during the traffic stop was a set of digital scales and a suspected controlled substance that will be sent off for testing.

An investigation is ongoing to identify the passenger who fled and warrants will be issued for his arrest pending positive identification.

Mr. Thomas Wayne Hershel Shaddix Obituary

Funeral services for Mr. Thomas Wayne Hershel Shaddix, age 38 of Ashland will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Clay County Funeral Home with Rev. Ryan Mitchell officiating. Burial will follow in Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends tonight, January 4, from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Mr. Shaddix passed away January 1, 2019. He was born in Aurora, Illinois, but had been a resident of Clay County most of his life. He was presently employed as a welder at M W Industrial Service in Sylacauga.
He is survived by his parents, Rickey and Denise Shaddix of Ashland; two daughters, Amber Shaddix, and Jade Shaddix; three sons, Thomas Shaddix, Jr.,Bralin Snyder, and Dawson Shaddix; two sisters, Tessa Shaddix, and Amy (Ryan) Mitchell; two brothers, Rickey (Pam)Shaddix and Adam (Tiffany) Shaddix.
Serving as pallbearers for Mr. Shaddix will be Bruce Dunnagan, Shane Dunnagan, Larry Lett, Terry Pegg, Adam Shaddix, Jimmy Shaddix, and Rickey Shaddix.
Clay County Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

CCSO Charge Three in Mountain View Rd Robbery

On November 06th, 2018, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office received a report of illegal entry on property and theft of items just off Mountain View Road north of Ashland. Sheriff’s Investigators began looking into the thefts and found evidence that the thieves would most likely be returning.

On November 15th, 2018, Investigators were alerted, via electronic devices, that thieves had returned to the property. Investigators responded and were able to take 3 persons into custody. Charged was Darrin Marcellus Leister, age 28 of Lineville, Jaylin Shamar Ellis, age 22 of Ashland and Jasmine Megan Bell, age 26 of Lineville. Leister and Ellis remain in the Clay County Detention Center on Bonds totaling $16000.00.