Arrest made in Calhoun County murder cold case from 2003 - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in Calhoun County murder cold case from 2003

Posted: Updated:
Randall Wayne Kirkpatrick (Photo: Dyer County Sheriff's Office) Randall Wayne Kirkpatrick (Photo: Dyer County Sheriff's Office)
CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. - A Tennessee man faces murder charges more than a decade after his wife died in Piedmont.

Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson announced Tuesday the arrest of 33-year-old Randall Wayne Kirkpatrick for the murder of Deborah Lynn Smith Kirkpatrick.  She was 22 at the time of her death in June 2003.

The initial report was of an apparent suicide.  Amerson said an investigation by the Piedmont Police Department and Department of Forensic Sciences concluded that it was an undetermined cause of death.

Ann Parris, Deborah Kirkpatrick's sister, said she knew right away that it was not suicide.

"It just felt like it was in a nightmare.  It didn't seem real.  It still doesn't," Parris said.

"I knew my sister, and she wasn't suicidal."

She said her sister was preparing to leave her husband because of negative behavior.  Parris said Kirkpatrick did not want the couple's infant son to be in that environment.

Randall Kirkpatrick moved to Tennessee with the young boy right after his wife's death.  Parris said she kept in touch with her nephew on Facebook in recent years, but after investigators reopened the cold case, she said Kirkpatrick blocked family members from seeing the child's Facebook page and also changed phone numbers.

"He didn't just kill her.  In a way, he literally killed my family.  It destroyed my family.  A lot of them has took the wrong paths since then," Parris said Tuesday.

She said she knew a day would come when investigators would find proof this was not a suicide.  Parris said she continued to fight for years by ringing phones of the hook and knocking on doors.

Sheriff Amerson said the Calhoun County cold case unit and the Calhoun-Cleburne District Attorney's office reviewed information last year that led them to reopen and reanalyze the case.

"After many months of hard work and interviewing witnesses ... and attempting to interview the husband, evidence was developed that this case was not in fact a suicide but was in fact a homicide," Amerson said.

The Center for Applied Forensic Science at Jacksonville State University helped investigators reconstruct the room of Deborah Kirkpatrick's home where police found her body.

District attorney Brian McVeigh said there were questions about the crime scene from the very beginning.  He said the story put forward by Randall Kirkpatrick did not match all of the forensic evidence in the home.  Investigators said Kirkpatrick's actions were not consistent with the expected response of a grieving spouse.

"Once they reopened the case and began interviewing evidence, they found some additional evidence that assisted in providing a potential motive," McVeigh said.

"If it wasn't a suicide, then there was only one other person in that room who could have done it, and that led us down the path toward grand jury."

A Calhoun County grand jury indicted Randall Kirkpatrick in June for murdering his wife 11 years earlier.  Deputies in Dyer County, Tennessee, took Kirkpatrick into custody Friday for extradition back to Alabama.

Amerson said this is the 13th murder solved by Calhoun County cold case unit since its creation in 2000.

"Cases like these allow a murderer to walk free among us," Amerson said.

"It is our duty and responsibility, whenever we possibly can, to bring closure to that case.  Closure to the family, and to bring justice for the victims who can no longer speak for themselves."

Ann Parris said she is ecstatic about the arrest, but she does not expect to get closure from it.

"I do expect justice," she said.

"I think maybe now it will start healing some of those broken pieces.  I don't think it will ever be completely healed."

Investigators said Randall Kirkpatrick has not answered any of their questions despite numerous requests for interviews during recent months.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:52:40 GMT
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
  • FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:19:17 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
    The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Beginning in 2006, Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper ...More >>
  • Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:39 GMT
    David PittsDavid Pitts
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Update: Man arrested after woman doused with gasoline and burned

    Update: Man arrested after woman doused with gasoline and burned

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:57:16 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
  • Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:28:15 GMT
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
  • Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:08:43 GMT
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...