HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Investigators presented evidence and personal accounts with a man accused in a 2021 shooting death of an Alabama A&M University student during a preliminary hearing.
Lemond Lawrence Burns was charged with capital murder following a shooting on January 18, 2021, at the Huntsville Place Apartments.
During the preliminary hearing on Tuesday in Judge Patrick Tuten’s courtroom, prosecutors called Huntsville Police Department (HPD) Investigator Greg Hayden to give an account of the alleged crime.
Investigator Hayden states that on January 18, 2021, Huntsville police officers responded to a ‘shots fired’ call at an apartment complex off Century Street NW. When officers got there, they found 22-year-old Dallis Patrick Ryan Wolfe in a vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
Hayden says through speaking with witnesses and watching surveillance video from the complex they were able to gather a clear understanding of the events that unfolded that day.
Investigators say the video showed Burns leaving the complex in one vehicle and Wolfe stopping at the security gate in a different vehicle to enter the complex. Hayden says the surveillance video shows Burns get out of his vehicle, approach Wolfe’s vehicle and exchange words as Wolfe was still in the car. Investigator Hayden says moments go by and then video shows Burns shot Wolfe with a semi-automatic chrome pistol. Hayden says Burns then got back into his vehicle and drove away.
Law enforcement officers were able to identify the vehicle Burns left the complex in based on the tag number shown on the video. Investigator Hayden said they put out a ‘be on the lookout’ for the Chrysler 300 Burns was driving. That car was spotted driving south on I-65.
Burns, who was 21 at the time, was taken into custody in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and transported him to the Madison County Jail. HPD was assisted by the U.S. Marshal Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Talladega Sheriff’s Department.
In an interview with Burns, Investigator Hayden said Burns admitted to shooting Wolfe.
Burns told Hayden they were all living together in an apartment, though his name never appeared on a lease. The actual confrontation began over food missing from the fridge of the apartment.
Burns, who also faces federal charges related to a fraud scheme, was later transferred to the Morgan County Jail as a federal inmate.
While there he was charged with second-degree assault in April 2021, after authorities say he attacked and beat a female corrections officer in Morgan County. The attack left the officer with a concussion, bruises around her eye and mouth, along with bruises on her back, head and arms.
Burns was sentenced to 12 years in prison on the assault charge in January 2022, after he pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2021.
If convicted of the capital murder charge, Burns faces an additional sentence of life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, should the state choose to seek it at trial.
The case against Lemond Burns was bound over to a grand jury.