Randolph County Sheriff David Cofield said Montoreous Kevonn Heard, the 16-year-old suspect in two separate shootings in the county Sunday, was appointed counsel Tuesday, but no court date had been set for his capital murder trial. Heard faces two counts of murder and a count of attempted murder.
Cofield said no motive was known for the shootings that left the suspect’s father, Alton Heard, 44, of Wedowee, dead. Investigators were also unsure why later that night the suspect allegedly shot married couple Richard and Mary Jones at a gas station in Roanoke where Mary worked as a cashier.
“This is still under investigation, and we don’t have those answers right now,” Cofield said.
Attempts Wednesday to reach members of Heard’s family, including Alton’s brother, Alvin, and father, Larry, were unsuccessful.
Cofield said Montoreous Heard had previously attended Randolph County High School in Wedowee, but had been suspended for the year in September for a drug-related incident.
Attempts to reach officials at Randolph County High School Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Cofield also said investigators have found no link between Heard and Richard and Mary Jones, but a friend of the family said their paths had crossed at least once before.
Christian Reaves, a Wadley woman who said she had been friends with Richard Jones more than 20 years, said Heard attended a Cub Scout summer day camp about five years ago at which Richard and Mary worked.
“We called him ‘Tori’ and I remember he was a really good kid,” Reaves said. “He did really well in the program. He was just a normal kid.”
Reaves said she recalled Heard’s father also came to the camp on several occasions throughout the week.
Mary Jones’ sister, Teresa Brasington, said Jones didn’t recognize who shot her at the gas station Sunday night, but remembered the name Montoreous Heard when she heard the suspect’s name.
“He must have recognized them,” Brasington said. “Richard was just a big teddy bear of a guy, I don’t see how you can forget him.”
Brasington said Jones came home Tuesday from UAB Hospital in order to make preparations for her husband’s funeral, which will take place Friday at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Roanoke. Jones suffered multiple gunshot wounds and will require reconstructive surgery on her shoulder, Brasington said.
“She’s devastated,” Brasington said about her sister’s condition. “We all are. This has been such a nightmare for our family. There are no words.”
Brasington said her sister met Richard, a lifelong Randolph County resident, in Roanoke about a year before they married in 1993.
“After he met her he made the drive every night after he got off work from Roanoke to Columbus, Ga., where Mary was,” Brasington said. “Richard had never left Roanoke before he met Mary, and then he was driving every night to Columbus just to see her.”
Reaves said if Heard recognized Richard, the shooting might have been avoided.
“If that boy came in and said ‘I need help,’ Richard would have done anything for him,” Reaves said. “That’s what’s so sad about this. I just don’t know what happened.”
Brasington said the family is accepting donations for the Jones’ family, which includes their two teenage children, through Sun Trust Bank in Columbus, Ga.
Cofield said if convicted, Heard could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.