AG Luther Strange Upholds 2014 Pike Co. Murder Conviction

shooting1327867688.JPGAttorney General Luther Strange announced the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the felony murder convictions of Brandon Jamal Ryles. Ryles, 27, of Brundidge. He was convicted in September of 2014 of the murders of Mark Adams and Carla Smilie.

The evidence at trial revealed that on April 4, 2011, Ryles drove to Mark Adams’ trailer with co-defendant, John Foster, and two others. Foster took a shotgun from Ryles’ vehicle, went inside Adams’ trailer, and began shooting Adams and Carla Smilie who were inside the residence. Ryles followed Foster inside and stabbed Smilie and Adams multiple times with a knife. Ryles and Foster then pulled Adams’ body from the chair he was sitting in and took his wallet out of his pocket.

The case was prosecuted at trial by Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson’s office. Ryles was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for his felony murder convictions. He subsequently sought to have his convictions reversed on appeal. Two capital murder cases against Foster are pending.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Section handled the Ryles case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the convictions. The Court did so in a decision issued on Friday, December 9.

Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General Ferris Stephens of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Section for his successful work in this case.

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