HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The bench trial for Huntsville District 1 Councilman Devyn Keith has been pushed back, according to recently-filed court documents.
In a motion filed late Monday evening, Keith’s defense is asking Judge Patricia Demos to delay the trial over the fact that Keith himself hasn’t had the opportunity to overlook any of the videos relative to the case, among several reasons.
Keith, the two-term District 1 council member, was charged after he allegedly stole items from Walmart stores, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), which is handling the case.
Keith was arrested and charged with fourth-degree theft on February 2, for allegedly shoplifting at a Walmart on University Drive. That charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a maximum $6,000 fine.
Attorney John Taylor said that the video had to be viewed at the Madison County District Attorney’s (DA) office, and downloaded “in such a way to make it unclear what incident the video was related to.”
Taylor added that he gave the DA’s office a thumb drive to put the videos on in order to have the ability to start, stop and pause the footage as needed while reviewing it, “for clarity.”
According to the motion, Taylor said the DA’s office did put the videos on the thumb drive, but also provided a CD with the videos on them, too.
However, when the attorney tried to watch the footage, he said it wouldn’t play “because of software issues,” he explained in the motion, adding that he “discovered the videos would play on an older computer which had Windows Media Player and that Windows Media Player is no longer provided on newer versions of Windows software such as Windows 11.”
Taylor said even though he has watched the video, he hasn’t watched them with Keith.
While Judge Demos has not officially made a ruling to delay the trial, Taylor wrote that the Assistant District Attorney said she was not opposed to a continuance and gave her permission to inform the court that she was not opposed.
Additional charges were filed against Keith, citing three alleged thefts dating back to 2022. The Huntsville City Attorney’s office also said it was not pursuing the Feb. 2 charge in Huntsville Municipal Court. Instead, that charge was included in the list of warrants this week to be heard by a Madison County District Court.
Keith’s alleged thefts total up to $491, according to court documents. He turned himself in for the three additional warrants on Feb. 8.
The councilman released a statement on Feb. 3 saying in part, “Yesterday, after purchasing items at the self-checkout at Walmart, I left the store with a 20$ pair of headphones in my cart that I failed to pay for. I respect the professionalism of the Walmart staff and law enforcement officers involved with this matter.”
The councilman pleaded not guilty in March 2023 and waived his right to an arraignment.
Court documents say the bench trial will be scheduled at a later date.