Suspect in death released

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

A Selma man charged with murder is free once again.

Anthony Perkins, 24, was ordered released from the Dallas County Jail on Wednesday by Dallas County District Judge Nathaniel Walker.

Walker heard testimony at Perkins’ preliminary hearing Tuesday and said he would make a determination on probable cause within 72 hours. Preliminary hearings exist to determine if enough probable cause exists to bind a case over to the grand jury.

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Perkins turned himself in to the Selma Police Department July 18, on a charge of murder. Perkins supposedly shot Joe Ponds, who was the nephew of his girlfriend, Gayle Harville, on July 17.

While the murder charge was dismissed, that doesn’t necessarily mean the case is over for good. &uot;This case is ended,&uot; Greene said, &uot;but that doesn’t mean the matter couldn’t be reinstated.&uot;

Greene said he plans on conferring with others involved in the case to determine if any other evidence exists. If not, the case will be closed.

Greene noted that unattended death cases are usually presented to the grand jury, but Perkins’ case has already been through the judicial system.

An attended death includes one that occurs in the presence of a health care professional at a hospital, for example.

According to Fourth Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick, his office will contact the victim’s family and inform them of the case’s developments and additional case work that needs to be done. &uot;We’ll take it from there,&uot; Fitzpatrick added.

Fitzpatrick said he thought that Walker clearly thought through his decision and made a determination based on Alabama’s self-defense law.

According to district attorney’s office records, officers responded to a call around 10:15 p.m. on July 17 in reference

to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers interviewed Harville, who said that Perkins had shot Ponds, her nephew, with her pistol. Harville was asked where Perkins was, and she said he had run away. Harville added that Ponds was inside her apartment in need of assistance.

When Haynes Ambulance arrived, Ponds was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perkins turned himself in the next day.