Second Arrest Made in Dothan Homicide

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

A second arrest has been made in a two week old Dothan murder case. Authorities made the arrest late Sunday night just before midnight.

This brings the Dothan Police Department, with the help of the Houston County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations, one step closer to closing this case.

It all started June 20th when 39-year old Richard Smith Junior was found shot to death by the railroad tracks on Stough Street.

For nearly two weeks, neighbors in the Stough Street area have been shaken and shocked by the recent murder.

And, because of the circumstances of the crime scene and where the victim was found, this has been a tricky investigation.

Dothan Police Chief John Powell says, "It was a scene where he was just basically out there in a vacant area by the railroad tracks. That becomes very difficult in itself because the crime scene is very hard to work because it's exposed to the elements. And then the officers have to go and piece together what occurred."

With the help of witnesses, the first suspect, Brandon Bell of Newton, was arrested Saturday quickly followed by the Sunday night arrest of Pravin Duane Simpson, of Dothan.

Both are charged with capital murder and made their first court appearance Monday afternoon by closed circuit television, with Simpson’s family present.

Through this case, the police department has been working with the media to ensure public safety and solicit information, but as with any investigation, certain facts are not made public.

Chief John Powell also says, "Sometimes it's viewed as we're not talking about it or we're not being cooperative with the media outlet or the public and that's not the case."

Some pieces of information are being withheld in order to keep from jeopardizing the investigation.

However, we have been told that authorities have other suspects in mind that they would like to talk to and there could be additional arrests.

Authorities also believe the motive in this shooting is drug-related.

They’re still seeking information from anyone who may have witnessed the crime or knows anything about it.

Anyone with information should call the Dothan Police Department at 615-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 793-7000.


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