Jury convicts Jasper man — again — of armed robbery of convenience store

By RON HARRIS, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 3/11/16

A Walker County jury has convicted a Jasper man — for the second time — of robbing a convenience store almost six years ago.

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Jury convicts Jasper man — again — of armed robbery of convenience store

Posted

A Walker County jury has convicted a Jasper man — for the second time — of robbing a convenience store almost six years ago.

Courtney Duran Dickerson, 25, of Jasper, was found guilty of first-degree robbery in a trial that began earlier this week. Jurors took less than 30 minutes to return the guilty verdict Thursday.

Dickerson was one of four men accused of robbing the Qwik Sak at the intersection of Airport Road and Curry Highway with a gun in July 2010.

Dickerson was initially found guilty of the crime in Aug. 2014. Circuit Judge Jerry Selman sentenced Dickerson to 40 years in prison at the time.

An Alabama criminal appeals court overturned the verdict in Feb. 2015, however, ruling Dickerson was entitled to a new trial because he was denied representation in court. Dickerson represented himself in the three-day trial, with an appointed public defender to assist him.

“This week, we tried him again,” Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said Thursday.

Assistant District Attorneys Kristin Kiefer and Chris Sherer served as lead prosecutors in the case this week.

Adair said Dickerson will be sentenced in about three weeks. He’s facing 20 years to life in prison.

Dickerson, along with three others, were arrested a short time after the crime and charged with the robbery. One of those arrested was a juvenile.

Dickerson suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound while trying to flee the scene, Adair said.

Adair credited the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Jasper police with quickly making arrests in the case.

Adair said he’s happy to have this case finally put to rest.

“I commend this second set of jurors who found this defendant guilty, and I commend both Kristin and Chris for the job they did,” Adair said.

Adair also said Qwik Sak owner Ray Whitworth was instrumental in making the arrests. Whitworth was armed at the time of the robbery and fired a shot at the suspects to chase them away.

“He was protecting his employees when this happened, and I commend his actions in following through with this through two jury trials,” Adair said.

A second business owned by Whitworth had been robbed just a few days prior to the Qwik Sak robbery.

“He was on high alert,” Adair said.

Thursday’s conviction is part of a continuing effort by the district attorney’s office to make sure anyone who commits a similar crime will be sent to prison.

“Anyone who is involved in the robbery of a convenience store is going to serve prison time, and a lot of it,” Adair said. “We’ve been very consistent in that, and will continue to be.”