HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) — In a baffling chain of events in the aftermath of a Decatur robbery, one man was charged with murder while another was pulled from the waters of Flint Creek five days later.
Micheal Forde-Clark, 18, was the passenger in a car police say was driven by 21-year-old Ismael Smith.
According to the Decatur Police Department (DPD), officers were called to a robbery near Casa Santiago on Spring Avenue on March 27, after two people said a trade for a Playstation console and an AK-47 rifle went sideways.
Police were given a vehicle and suspect description.
The driver of a vehicle matching that description, later identified as Smith, tried to run from police, leading them on a high-speed chase with speeds reaching nearly 100 miles per hour when he lost control and crashed into Flint Creek near Bowles Bridge, authorities said.
Two people jumped from the vehicle into the creek, which police said resulted in the Rescue Squad being notified.
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Smith was quickly pulled from Flint Creek and taken into custody, while the second person, later identified as Forde-Clark, was seen “struggling to stay afloat” as he went downstream.
Smith was initially charged with capital murder before the 18-year-old’s body was found or he was declared dead.
Two more days went by before the vehicle was found and drawn out of the water, while ALEA’s Marine Police continued their search for Forde-Clark.
On April 1, a resident called police to report a dead body in Flint Creek, later identified by the DPD as Forde-Clark.
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson told News 19 that Smith’s capital murder charge was lowered to felony murder as a result of the events that transpired.
Smith is expected to appear in court on April 18th for a hearing.