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, and submit an anonymous tip. 

Break-In Reported in Barfield area

Heads up in the Barfield area! A break-in occurred at a residence on Barfield Fire Department Rd in Lineville on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 sometime between the hours of 8:00 am-3:00 pm. Several items were taken and the house was ransacked.

The burglar(s) gained entry to the house by breaking a window pane. There are no suspects yet, although resident owners confirm there is evidence that may hopefully provide identity.

So, if you live in that area or traveling through and see any suspicious activity, please be sure to do your best to get to an accurate description and most of all, a tag number.  Please call Clay County Sheriff’s Office with any information, 256-354-2176.


Possible Murder in Hunter Bend area

Randolph County experienced their first suspected homicide on Sunday, August 26, 2018. 

Tammy Louise Desjardin, age 38, of 115 Holland Drive, Wedowee, was arrested and charged in connection with the murder of her father, Melvin Reni Desjardin, age 77, who died as a result of a gunshot wound. 

This is all the details we have at this time, as Mr. Desjardin’s body has been sent off for autopsy. 

Please remember that all parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Ashland Elementary Placed On Brief Lockdown

UPDATED INFO: Second Release Regarding Lockdown at School

On August 30, Officers from the Ashland Police Department along with deputies from the Clay County Sheriff’s department responded to a hang up call going into 911, that was reportedly made from some where near the Ashland Elementary School. Officers were unable to prove anything was actually credible, and the school was taken off of lockdown before the school was scheduled to be dismissed.

After further investigation, it was determined that a watch was used from within the school to call 911 several times and raised the alarm. The watch was confiscated by the Ashland Police Department, and the child in question was to be sought on Friday, August 31, for questioning.
Because there was never a threat made, and no persons were in danger the school was released back to administrators and will reopen on Friday morning at regular time.

Continue reading Ashland Elementary Placed On Brief Lockdown

Clay County Inmate Escapee Back in Custody

On Saturday Morning, July 14th, 2018, it was reported that an inmate from the Clay County Detention Center walked away from a work release detail. Deputies were quick to respond with a manhunt beginning very soon thereafter. Responding agencies also included the Ashland Police, Lineville Police, Ashland Police Reserve, Clay County Sheriff’s Reserve, Alabama Department of Corrections K-9 tracking teams and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) air search and rescue, rotor wing division. That began the extensive search for Inmate Shannon Waldrop of Ashland.

Throughout the coming weeks, search teams worked late into the night and early morning hours responding to sightings of Waldrop. Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by local law enforcement agencies continued to follow every lead into Waldrop’s whereabouts. Teams were deployed after dark into wooded areas associated with Waldrop’s sightings, where they would remain until the daylight hours attempting sighting with infrared and night vision equipment.

Intelligence information received indicated Waldrop was possibility getting assistance from acquaintances in the area. With additional search teams and 24 hour surveillance teams monitoring movement on area personnel, positive results were gotten.

On August 15th, warrants were obtained on an individual for 2 counts of hindering apprehension and one count of reckless endangerment. Increasing pressure from area law enforcement resulted in a phone call being placed in the mid-morning hours of August 18th, 2018 to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Inmate Shannon Waldrop turned himself into Sheriff’s Investigators shortly thereafter. Warrants on Waldrop include Escape, 3 counts Burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, 2 counts criminal mischief and 1 count criminal trespass. The investigation into those who may be responsible for helping Waldrop is continuing and additional arrests may be forthcoming.

A special thanks to all the above mentioned agencies that assisted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. These men and women spent countless hours, enduring rough terrain and extreme heat on many days and challenging moments of the night during these searches. It is with this dedication and professionalism that proves our local law enforcement has one goal in mind, serve the citizens of this great county at any level. They are true dedicated professionals, states Sheriff Latham.


Montgomery, AL.- On Saturday, July 21, 2018, Michael Morrison of Lineville, was elected President of the Alabama Jr. Cattlemen’s Association at the 2018 AJCA Round-Up. Michael has been a member of AJCA since he was 9 and has been on the Executive Board for 3 years. He is the first person ever from Clay County to hold this prestigious office.

Michael has participated in numerous activities through AJCA, such as exhibiting registered show cows, livestock judging, and leadership activities. He currently attends Gadsden St. Community College where he is an Ambassador. He plans to transfer to Auburn University in the Fall of 2019. He is the son of Mike and Laraine Morrison.


Chris and Jordyn Upchurch of Clay County were named Alabama’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 46th Commodity Producers Conference in Montgomery Aug. 4. Their Rockin U farm in Lineville encompasses over 300 acres, 130 cows and three poultry houses.

As the OYFF, the fourth-generation farmers received over $70,000 in prizes and will compete for the national Achievement Award at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in New Orleans in January. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Jordyn and Chris.

Escaped Inmate Back in Custody


The escaped Inmate worker, Shannon Dewayne Waldrop, who walked off job detail at Clay County Jail around 5:30 am on July 14, 2018 is now in custody. Waldrop turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, August 18, 2018. This is a late breaking story and I still don’t have all the details. More information to follow soon…

Head-On Collision Claims Life of Delta Man

The uninjured driver’s truck being removed from the scene

A two-vehicle crash involving two pickup trucks claimed the life of a Delta man. The accident took place on Highway 9 in Delta in the early afternoon hours on Monday, August 13.

According to state troopers, 57-year-old Stephen Green was driving south when his truck collided with another truck that was traveling north. Green was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 The driver of the other truck involved was not injured. Sources say the uninjured driver fell asleep at the wheel, but that has not been confirmed at this time. Rescue personnel spent five hours trying to clear the scene, with clean-up and extrication efforts. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Green’s family.