James Williams found guilty of shooting convenience store clerk - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

James Williams found guilty of shooting Huntsville convenience store clerk

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The jury deliberated one hour before returning a guilty verdict in the James Williams capital murder trial Wednesday afternoon.

Williams murdered store clerk Melvin Lovette, who was shot to death at the Conoco station on Drake Avenue in March 2007.

The judge sentenced Williams to life without parole right after the verdict was read.

Williams, who was 17-years-old when the shooting happened, told investigators it was an accident. He claimed he was trying to scare the clerk.

Prosecutors, though, argued that Williams knew exactly what he was doing, and told his cousin before the robbery that if the clerk gave him any smart talk he would kill him.

During closing arguments Prosectuor Bob Becker told the court "Williams knew exactly what he was doing. He was 17 years old going on 25 with his life experience."

Williams took the stand in his own defense. His attorney Jerry Hicks told the jury Williams wanted to tell his story. He admitted to his involvement but Hicks said Williams didn't intend to kill anybody.

Prosecutor Jay Town in his closing argument said "Melvin Lovette only had 23 seconds from the time Williams walked into the store. Williams and Pearsall were the last 2 people Lovette would see before he died. Williams held a gun a few inches from Lovette's chest. Williams heard Lovette say "are you serious?" Then boom! That's what you get for backtalking James Williams."

Town went on to say that "as a jury it is your duty to return a fair verdict that is justice for Melvin Lovette and James Williams. It's not easy but must be done. He is guitly of capital murder.'

Prosecutors also had a taped confession and surveillance video of the robbery and Williams shooting the store clerk in the chest.

Jarrad Pearsall is also charged with capital murder in this case. His trial has not been set.

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