Grantham Murder 25th Anniversary

It was 25-years-ago that Coffee County Sheriff Neil Grantham was "gunned down" as he walked up to the jail in Elba.

Grantham’s family along with state and local officials gathered Monday to celebrate the sheriff's life.

The family wants to know why his killer remains on death row.

With buttons of Sheriff Grantham, the "late" lawman's sisters remember their brother. A quarter century since an assassin’s bullet killed Neil Grantham. On that day, career criminal Billy Joe Magwood fatally shot the sheriff as he walked to the jail in Elba.

Magwood had compiled a hit list and Sheriff Grantham was on it. The killer remains on death row amid questions of his sanity.

Then Coffee County Circuit Judge Terry Butts would later serve as a state Supreme Court Justice. His name was also on Magwood's "hit list".

The Elba resident can't understand why justice hasn't been handed down.

At the time, Elba Police Chief Ronnie Whitworth was a highway patrolman. He's the one who found Magwood hiding in an abandoned home, and arrested him.

Due to a large mob forming in Elba following the shooting, Chief Whitworth had to transport the suspect to the Pike County Jail in Troy.

Alabama Governor Bob Riley’s legal counselor also spoke at the gathering. He promised that the governor plans to try and expedite the appeal process in order for Billy Joe Magwood to be executed.


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