MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The man accused of throwing his children to their deaths from the Dauphin Island Bridge in 2009 may get a new trial. And make no mistake about it, district attorney Ashley Rich is ready for a fight.
"We will do whatever it takes to bring this man to his death and to bring justice for these four babies," said the D.A. during a news conference Monday at Government Plaza.
At issue is a painful case that gripped Mobile as tight as a vice. The trial of Lam Luong, the father of four children, ages 3, 2, 1 and four months, who was convicted of systematically throwing each child to it's death from the towering Dauphin Island Bridge.
He was convicted in Mobile Circuit Court, a conviction the Alabama Court of Appeals has now overturned.
Too much publicity, they said.
A bad Vietnamese translator, they ruled.
Rich would have none of it.
"Judge Graddick did an excellent job during this trial, as always," she said. "Attorney General Luther Strange has assured me he will appeal this decision by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals."
Should Rich have to retry this case, it won't just be the district attorney and her coworkers who will have to relive the terrible facts in this case, but also the people who helped find the four children, and an entire community that waited for their recovery.
Paul Stewart was in charge of the Mobile County Sheriff's Flotilla that directed the search for the four toddlers. James Howard was a member of the flotilla. Both remember the dedication of the community, and the heartache of the mission.
"The community, along with us, were grieving and hurting pretty bad for the children and especially her mother," said Stewart.
"Hundreds and hundreds of people who put themselves out there and gave themselves to that mission, it is difficult for it to show up again," echoed Howard.
If there is a retrial, it won't be cheap. Rich's rough estimate?
Rich says that's money she's ready to spend, if that's what it takes to keep Luong on death row.