Decatur police charge 4 suspects in string of crimes with second murder

Published: May. 20, 2015 at 4:22 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2015 at 7:26 PM CDT
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District Attorney Scott Anderson. (Source: WAFF)
District Attorney Scott Anderson. (Source: WAFF)

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Four people are now charged with a second count of capital murder after Decatur police linked a second body to a weekend crime spree. Arrest affidavits are also revealing new details

Cedric Lamont Cowan, 16; Amani Juan Goodwin, 17; and Cortez Ocie Mitchell, 16; Joseph Christopher Cowan 20;  are charged with two counts of capital murder and four counts of robbery in connection with the series of crimes.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Decatur police announced that the four are being charged with capital murder in the death of Joshua Davis, 25, of Lacey's Spring. Davis' body was found on Saturday morning at a pavilion near Adventureland in Wilson-Morgan Park. They are also charged in the slaying of 27-year-old Antonio Hernandez.

According to court paperwork, on May 13, Decatur police were called to the park at Julian Harris School for a robbery. The victims said they were approached by several black males armed with handguns. The suspects took property, including cell phones, car keys and wallets before fleeing in a vehicle.

READ MORE:Residents demand police help reclaim street peppered by gunfire

The next day, police received information that one of the victims who had his cell phone stolen, had purchased a new phone. While syncing his new phone with iCloud, he noticed an unknown male had taken a photo the day after the robbery. The photo was turned over to police.

On Friday night just before 10 p.m., Decatur police responded to reports of a shooting on Albert Street Southwest. When police arrived, they found Hernandez's body in the carport of a home in the 100 block. Hernandez suffered from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police found a witness who was with Hernandez when the shooting happened. The witness told police he and Hernandez were in the carport when four black males came up and demanded money. While they were taking property from Hernandez, one of the suspects shot him.

A short time later, a woman in the 1600 block of 8th Avenue Southwest called 911 to report she had been robbed at gunpoint by several black males armed with handguns and a long gun. The woman told police the men threatened to shoot her in front of her daughter if she didn't give them her purse. The suspects took the purse and fled the scene in a silver car.

Not long after that robbery, a man was riding his bike near the intersection of 11th Avenue and 2nd Street Northwest. He was approached by a silver car. Two black males got out of the car armed with handguns and demanded his belongings. The man threw his phone on the ground, at which point he was struck in the back of the head by one of the suspects with the barrel of a long gun. The man fled from the scene and hid, before going to the Decatur Police Department to report the crime.

READ MORE:Decatur police investigate rash of violent crimes

On Saturday, police were able to identify the person in the photo from the initial robbery victim. From there, detectives were able to determine the photo was taken in the cafeteria of Decatur High School. Police then identified the person who took the picture as Cortez Mitchell. Mitchell was found and brought to the police department, where he signed a statement confessing to the robbery at the park, the robbery and murder at Albert Street and the robbery on 11th Avenue.

Documents say Mitchell identified the other males as Joseph Cowan, Cedric Cowan and Amani Goodwin. He told police where the Cowans live and detailed how Goodwin drove a silver "family car" during both incidents.

Bond for the three teens, originally set at $300,000, was revoked. Joseph Cowan's was already held on no bond.

Under Alabama state law, the three teens cannot face the death penalty because they are under the age of 18.

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