LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Three people have been indicted for felony murder exactly one year after they were charged in the killing of a Lawrence County man and burning his body.
Court documents show Charles Allen Keel, Wendell Junior Proctor and Tyler Ray Tippett were indicted for the murder of 51-year-old David Guess of Trinity on March 10, 2023.
Lawrence County Coroner Scott Norwood told News 19 on March 7, 2022, that a delivery truck driver was passing through the area of County Road 294 and County Road 222 near the Chicken Foot community when he saw what he thought was a body and called 911.
The body, later identified as Guess, had been severely burned, according to Lawrence County Chief Deputy Brian Covington.
Police say Guess went to a home belonging to Tippett, 26, on County Road 294 around 10 o’clock that night. An argument about catalytic converters started between Tippett, Proctor, 44, and Devon Keel, 17, and Charles Allan Keel, 43.
Witnesses told investigators the argument turned physical. When Guess tried to run from the fight, Charles Keel shot him, police said.
Guess was then forced into a pickup truck and driven somewhere near County Road 222 and 294. It was here that Guess’ body was doused with gasoline and set on fire by Charles Keel, Tippett, and Proctor, officials said.
The burned body was not identified as Guess until Monday, March 7. The sheriff’s office stated preliminary autopsy results show Guess died as a result of the gunshot wound.
Officers executed a search warrant at the home of Charles and Devon Keel on County Road 321 in Trinity, where they said they found meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and other items investigators were looking for related to the kidnapping of Guess.
As a result of that search, Charles and Devon Keel were arrested, along with Wendell Proctor, Tyler Tippett and Jamie Michelle Parker in connection to Guess’ murder.
Barbara Keel and Jason Keel were arrested on drug-related charges.
The following is according to court documents:
- Charles Keel’s charges of tampering with physical evidence, unlawful imprisonment, abuse of a corpse, first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping were bound over to a grand jury on June 8, 2022.
- Wendell Proctor’s charges of first-degree kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree assault and abuse of a corpse were bound over to a grand jury on June 8, 2022.
- Tyler Tippett’s charges of corpse abuse, tampering with physical evidence, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and multiple drug charges were waived to a grand jury on August 3, 2022.
- Devon Allan Keel’s charges of first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping have been bound over to a grand jury on June 8, 2022.
- Jamie Michelle Parker’s charges of hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence and several drug-related charges were all bound over to a grand jury on June 23, 2022.
Lawrence County Judge Callie C. Waldrep is set to rule over Charles Keel’s, Wendell Proctor’s and Tyler Tippett’s cases. An arraignment hearing for all three has been set for 9 a.m. on April 13, 2023.