Suspects in Alabama police killings described as armed, angry crack dealers

Friday, July 30th 2004, 9:25 pm
By: News On 6

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ A judge refused to dismiss capital murder charges against two men accused of fatally shooting three police officers after a girlfriend testified Friday the men were armed crack dealers angry about being hassled by police.

District Judge Sheldon Watkins also refused to set bond for Nathaniel Woods, 27, and Kerry Spencer, 24. Prosecutors say the officers were gunned down as they tried to arrest Woods on a misdemeanor warrant at a reputed drug house on June 17.

Marquita McClure, a girlfriend of Woods, testified that Woods and Spencer dealt crack from the house where the slaying occurred. She also said both men hated police and had guns.

Woods' attorney, Rita Briles, argued there was no evidence her client had a gun to shoot the officers. Spencer's attorney, Michael Blalock, suggested his client fired at officers in self-defense.

Officers Carlos Owen, Harley Chisholm III and Charles Robert Bennett were shot to death with a high-powered assault rifle. A fourth officer was shot at but not hurt.

The case now goes before a grand jury.