MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Two men facing charges in connection to a shooting on the Alabama A&M University campus in August had court appearances scheduled Wednesday at the Madison County Courthouse.
Willie Nance, 23, and Christopher Thomas, 20, are both charged with first-degree aggravated assault – involving a firearm.
Nance and Thomas were charged following a shooting that happened on Alabama A&M’s campus on Tuesday, August 22, near the Knight Center. The shooting took place just five days after classes started for the fall semester.
The shooting was initially under investigation by the Alabama A&M Police Department, however, the investigation was taken over by the Huntsville Police Department (HPD).
HPD said at the time of the shooting it believed the shooting was an “isolated incident” between Nance and Thomas. The two men were the only people injured in the shooting, police said.
Nance was set to appear for a 9:30 a.m. preliminary hearing in Judge Linda Coats’s courtroom. However, neither Nance nor an attorney were present for the roll call. Judge Coats said that Nance’s attorney filed for the preliminary hearing to be waived.
In a preliminary hearing, the state is asked to present an outline of the evidence they have in the case and the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to a grand jury. Since Nance waived his preliminary hearing the case will next be presented to a Madison County grand jury.
In a different courtroom on Wednesday, Christopher Thomas appeared for a felony examination, which is used by the judge to determine if a defendant has a lawyer or if they need one to be appointed by the court.
Thomas had not already obtained a lawyer and filed paperwork to be assigned one by the state.
Thomas left the felony examination with paperwork assigning him a court-appointed lawyer. Judge Don Rizzardi was not present in the courtroom, however, a bailiff at the hearing said Thomas should have a preliminary hearing added to the calendar in the next 30 days.