Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles returns to mission, keeps violent criminals off the streets
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied parole for 14 violent convicts who are in prison for armed robbery.
This came after a news conference Monday announcing the official resumption of parole hearings. During this press conference, Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Director Charlie Graddick had strongly urged board members to use prudence in considering whether to grant each individual parole.
“Inmates do not have an innate right to be paroled, they must earn such a privilege,” Graddick emphasized. “Our first priority must be the safety of every man, woman and child in Alabama.”
The board apparently decided that one such inmate has earned his parole.
William Cameron Cliatt, sentenced in 2006 to 25 years in prison for the first-degree robbery of Crum’s Deli in Henry County, on Tuesday was granted the privilege.
The list of the violent criminals who were denied parole on Tuesday is as follows:
Antonio Jackson was sentenced in 2009 to life in prison for two first-degree robberies in St. Clair County. Jackson has been convicted of robbery four times in Jefferson and St Clair counties, and was previously convicted of murder in Georgia. He is serving his fourth prison term. He was granted probation in 1995 and has already been paroled twice only to wind up back in prison
Steven Wade Hamilton was sentenced in 2010 to 20 years in prison for a first-degree robbery in Calera in Shelby County in which he robbed a convenience store clerk at knifepoint. His other convictions include theft, three burglaries and domestic violence assault. He has been incarcerated five times.
Akeem Benison was sentenced in 2013 to 20 years in prison for armed robbery. He was charged with seven counts of first-degree armed robbery. The Demopolis Police Department said the robberies all took place at the same BP service station over a period, and that each time, Benison would flee after the robbery back to Greene County. Police called him a serial robber. He was sentenced in 2013 to 20 years in prison for robbery.
Charleston George was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for first-degree robbery in Lee County. He was an employee of Momma Goldberg’s Deli in Auburn and was involved in a robbery in which two masked gunmen held up the restaurant at closing time. George is serving his third prison term. He was sentenced in 2000 to three years in prison and 12 years of probation for two first-degree robberies in Tuskegee.
Alonzo John Goines has committed multiple robberies. Goines was sentenced in 2013 to 20 years in prison for two counts of first-degree robbery in Russell County after he and an accomplice robbed a store at gunpoint. Goines had already been sentenced to three years in prison in Lee County back in 2008 for another first-degree robbery.
Donte Lamar Harris was sentenced in 2014 to six years, eight months in prison for first-degree robbery in Millbrook, Elmore County. He robbed at gunpoint three different Dollar General stores over a three-week period.
Antron Marquez Jackson was sentenced in 2003 to 30 years in prison for first-degree robbery in Pike County, his third incarceration. Jackson robbed Ward’s Grocery Store at gunpoint.
Benjamin James Bradley of Covington County was sentenced in 2008 to 21 years, three months in prison for first-degree robbery. He used a gun to rob the A.W. Herndon store in Andalusia. He has escaped from prison twice during his criminal career.
Richardo Eason of Foley in Baldwin County was sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for the first-degree armed robbery of a gas station clerk. He entered a Bebos gas station armed with a gun and demanded money from the clerk.
Omar Wilik McQueen was sentenced in 1990 to 30 years in prison for first-degree robbery and theft of property in Montgomery County. He robbed a store at gunpoint. McQueen has already been paroled once – back in 2003 – but he wound up right back in prison.
James Leo Williams was convicted of four armed robberies in Jefferson County in 1996-97 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. In each of the robberies, Williams and two accomplices threatened and held guns to the heads of store employees. Williams was paroled once before, in 2006, but wound up right back in prison.
Thomas Edward Howard was sentenced in 2008 to 21 years in prison for first-degree robbery after he robbed a Chevron store in Auburn, Lee County, with a gun on March 3, 2008.
Lonnie Painter is a violent, multi-state offender who was sentenced in 2005 to 20 years in prison for first-degree robbery and two counts of illegal possession/fraudulent use of a credit card in Gardendale, Jefferson County. He lured the robbery victim by asking for a battery jump and then used a knife and threatened to kill the victim. He has been released from prison on parole three times and each time he violated parole.
Jarius Israel Robinson was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for a 2008 robbery in Dothan, Houston County. The Dothan Eagle reported that Robinson, from Henry County, was among three teenagers charged with robbing a Dothan KFC restaurant where he had once been an employee. Robinson and his two accomplices wore masks and brandished guns during the robbery.
Tuesday’s hearings came after a tumultuous time for the Bureau, which was called “badly broken” before a structural overhaul supported by the governor and attorney general overwhelmingly passed the Alabama legislature this spring.
Once a new leadership team led by Graddick came into the organization in recent months, they discovered that hearings needed to be postponed because the old leaders had not put the Bureau in compliance with the new law. Graddick lamented the situation as a “hot mess,” but Tuesday should signal things are back on stable footing.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn