Charges upgraded to murder

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fredrick Hartley, 49, died in a Montgomery hospital on Sunday evening from injuries he sustained in an attack on March 27.

The two 19-year-olds arrested, Danny Jermaine Walker and Darryl Dewayne Johnson, were originally charged with assault in the first degree. However, they now face the class-a felony charge of murder.

“Charges in the case involving Mr. Harley have been upgraded to murder,” Sgt. Doug Stewart said. “An autopsy will be performed on the body, but he subcomed to his injuries Sunday night.”

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Initial reports did not hint at life-threatening injuries.

“When the incident was first reported it was classified as an assault second-degree, but then the injuries were more serious than originally thought,” Stewart said. “Those charges were upgraded to assault first-degree when Mr. Hartley became paralyzed from the injuries.”

The assault occurred at 5 p.m. that Friday in March in the 300 block of G.W.C. Homes.

Johnson and Walker, along with other unidentified suspects, allegedly attacked Hartley with a tire iron. The victim received injuries to his head, back and neck.

“This is a drug-related case,” Sgt. Tory Neely said earlier. “The victim owed the suspects money for drugs. We know that Johnson and Walker are not the only two involved.”

Walker and Johnson were wanted for a time before turning themselves in to police the following Monday and Tuesday, respectfully.

The two teenagers have been involved in serious prior incidents.

“Two weeks [before the assault] we arrested Danny Walker for theft of property second-degree, and a week [before the assault] we arrested Danny Walker for burglary third-degree,” Neely said. “There was a foot pursuit after the burglary. Officers did recover a fire arm in the incident.”

Darryl Johnson also has a grand jury indictment for murder.

The two Selma teens now face a class-a felony charge. If convicted, they could be sentenced anywhere between 20 and 99 years in prison and pay a fine up to $60,000.