Clayton Antwain Shanklin, 26, was given the death penalty by Walker County Circuit Judge Doug Farris, overriding a jury recommendation in October that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Before the sentence was handed down, family members for Shanklin begged Farris to show him mercy.
“I’m begging the court to save his life,” Shanklin’s father, Clayton Shanklin Sr., said. “I love him with all my heart, and I would trade places with him if I could.”
Renea Shanklin, the defendant’s mother, told Farris, “I love my son, and I’m begging you to save his life. His family needs him.”
Farris called his decision a “most difficult decision.” He said the murder deprived two children of their father.
“The community is fortunate that four people were not killed,” Farris added.
In his final comment to Shanklin, Farris said, “I pray, sir, that you make amends with our maker.”
On Oct. 27, 2011, following a nine-day trial, Shanklin was found guilty of first-degree capital murder during a robbery, first-degree capital murder during a burglary and attempted murder due to his alleged involvement in the crime.
Michael Crumpton died on Oct. 12, 2009, at his home in Cordova after he was shot in the back four times during a robbery allegedly committed by Shanklin and his cousin, Kevin Shanklin, who is awaiting his capital murder trial.
Crumpton’s wife, Ashley, was also shot in the leg during the incident, and their two, small children were inside the home when the incident happened.
Laurie Evans, Crumpton’s mother, said during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing that her son’s death “changed everything” for their family.
“There are no words to describe the nightmare you go through,” she said. “I feel like one of the biggest parts of me has died.”
Sina Beard testified Wednesday that Crumpton’s death has had the biggest impact on his children.
“His loss is so great that I can’t even begin to describe in words the effect it has had on our lives, and especially the babies,” she said. “He was a loving father and this has caused those little ones so much trauma.”
Walker Count District Attorney Bill Adair said he was pleased with Farris’ decision.
“This family has been through so much,” Adair said. “I feel the evidence in the case showed that the death penalty was the appropriate sentence. I commend Judge Farris for the sentence that he handed down.”