LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Lawrence County man’s aggravated stalking conviction will stand after court documents show he tried to appeal the decision.

71-year-old William Earl Latham was convicted on February 3, 2022, for first-degree aggravated stalking of his former wife. He was sentenced to serve 20 years following the verdict, one of the most severe sentences allowed for the charge in the state.

On October 7, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Latham, denying any reversal of his conviction.

Evidence shown during Latham’s trial showed that he and his former wife had been married for several years when Latham started physically abusing her. In 2020, court documents show that Latham’s wife obtained a protection from abuse order, which Latham continued to violate.

Latham’s abusive and threatening behavior eventually led to an altercation that ended in a car accident, according to the Attorney General’s office.

“William Earl Latham received a 20-year prison sentence for his repeated stalking and abusive behavior toward his former wife,” explained Marshall. “In the past, stalking offenders like Latham would have received minimal, if any, prison time for this kind of terrorizing behavior. As underscored by this sentence, Alabama now imposes severe penalties for aggravated stalkers.”

Attorney General Marshall also commended Assistant Attorney General John J. Davis and law clerk Jeremiah Johansen for their successful work on the case, as well as thanking Lawrence County District Attorney Errek Jett and his staff for their assistance in defending the conviction.

As of October 19, Latham has served two years, two months and 26 days of his sentence. His next parole hearing is scheduled to be held on April 1, 2027.