"It is appropriate that this man will serve a long prison sentence for taking the life of this young woman," said Attorney General Strange. "Despite various stories he offered, it was clearly proven that he deliberately committed murder, and justice requires a stern punishment."
(MONTGOMERY)-Attorney General Luther Strange today announced the sentencing of a Childersburg man for the murder of a woman he had been dating. Cedric Keith, 37, was sentenced on December 12 to 30 years of imprisonment for the shooting death of Magdalene Marbury, also of Childersburg.
Keith was found guilty on October 17 by a jury in Talladega County Circuit Court following a two-day trial. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Criminal Trials Division. Evidence was presented that included recorded statements in which Keith admitted to the killing but gave three differing accounts in which he claimed it had been accidental. Forensic evidence conflicted with the stories told by the defendant.
On July 19, 2009, Keith and Marbury had been together at a softball game, when Keith apparently became upset as she walked around the area with her sister and was talking to others on a cell phone. Later that day, at Keith's residence at 1098 Shady Lane, Marbury was killed by a gunshot to her head. She was 26 years old.
Keith initially told police that he and Marbury had been fighting over the gun and it went off. Later he said that he had been outside feeding dogs when he heard the gunshot, went inside, and found Marbury dead. Another time, he claimed that he had been outside to lock his car and tripped on the steps with the gun in his hand, accidentally shooting Marbury. He eventually admitted that he had thrown the gun in the septic tank behind his trailer, where it was subsequently recovered by law enforcement. Forensic testing confirmed a match with the gun of the bullet that killed Marbury.
Attorney General Strange commended those who handled this case, noting in particular Assistant Attorneys General Bill Lisenby and James Rutter, and Paralegal Lori Arnold of the Attorney General's Criminal Trials Division; and Victim Service Officer Ashley Harbin of the Attorney General's Office of Victim Assistance. He also thanked the Talladega County Sheriff's Office.