Prosecution Seeking Death Penalty in Huntsville Artist Murder Case

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Ervin Akeem Tolbert (Photo: Huntsville Police Department)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against 19-year-old Ervin Akeem Tolbert.

Tolbert is charged with capital murder in connection with the death of 78-year-old Wade Wharton.

Investigators say Tolbert beat Wharton to death on January 15 during a burglary attempt on Nassau Drive in Huntsville.

Tolbert’s attorney filed a motion requesting his client undergo a toxicology test.  The defense claims Tolbert was under the influence of the prescription drug Xanax the night of the incident.  Court documents state Tolbert stole the pills from his mother’s cabinet.

A judge granted the motion and Tolbert underwent the test on January 23.

Tolbert is currently being held without bond in the Madison County Jail.


  • Sue

    So the 19 yr old was on prescription drugs when he beat his neighbor to death. His neighbor Mr. Wharton was 78 yrs old. That is 59 yrs older than the murderer! He went to commit burglary and obviously if caught was ready to intentionally KILL this nice man whom everyone liked. Can you get any lower than that? They did not say whether Mr Wharton heard him and came outside where he was beaten or whether he tried to break in. The murderer knew he could identify him so that was a deliberate kill. He stole the pills so he was already a thief! Death penalty all the way!!! That was a HORRIBLE crime and if he had not died and could not get back into his house he probably would have frozen to death. Pathetic and SO SAD to happen to someone who bothered no one and could not fight back!! What a cowardly despicable worm!!!

  • Charlie

    So much trash in the world. Half of it preys on people and the other half threatens . Or tries to , if you could read it .

  • jones

    It doesn’t matter what a judge here on Earth says anyway. God will be the final judge and He says..”Thou Shalt Not Kill”.

    • Victor

      What a very narrow minded statement. Are you sure that is isn’t YOU who is racist? Search your own heart and find it pure before you cast the first stone.

    • Sue

      Tolbert- Racist would be if the victim was black and the MURDERER was white. I would still say DEATH PENALTY if that was the case! How dare you call this NICE man trash! The only TRASH is the MURDERER who will be taken out out when the DEATH PENALTY is given!!! This was a thug taking advantage of someone because he was much older and could not defend himself. He deserves exactly what he gets!!!

      • Jessie

        “Racist piece of trash” ? Tolbert this does not help the scenario at all. All you are implementing is that it is or was okay for this young tolbert to take this elderly mans life. Angry because peopke are speaking on it? Then he should not have done it. Period! God will have his day with tolbert. If the Devil dont take him first. Im glad to see they are thinking the death penalty. THE BIBLE SAYS EYE FOR AN EYE. only if the justice system would punish half the way they punnish their victims. That would be justice. .

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