MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) - Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said Saturday she is ready to take on the case against 3 men accused in the robbery and shootout at a Winn Dixie store in March 2012.
It was the case topping headlines: a brazen robbery, an inside man, a standoff and shootout, not to mention a Mobile Police officer who nearly lost his life.
"I knew i was shot in a bad place and I could feel myself bleeding bad in the back of the police car. breathing was a little difficult, so I knew it was serious," Officer Chad Wynne said in a follow up interview last August.
Police arrested 3 men in the case. The first, JaKeith Harrision, who was believed the be the lead gunman, was scheduled to stand trial this Friday, just a day shy of the one year mark since the crime.
But because Harrison's attorney has a scheduling conflict, Rich said, Ronald Crear will face a judge first. Co-defendant Collier Kirksey, the person who prosecutors said pretended to be a victim during the robbery but was really an inside man, is also on the docket.
Each will be tried one at a time.
"We can't try them together because they all gave statements," Rich said, "Two of the three gave statements incriminating the others; whenever you have a co-defendant making a statement incriminating another co-defendant, then you're not allowed to consolidate those according to the law. She said it would be possible to try the men together, but their statements against each other would not be admissible at trial.
Rich said prosecutors definitely want to use those statements, adding a similar robbery where the same people are suspected could come into play.
"The judge will have to look at was it similar circumstances, could it be characterized as something that was a pattern or practice on behalf of the defendants." She said the case against the men was still strong even without information from the additional crime they are suspected of committing.