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Robbery exposes more than gambling
Man shot in buttock at illegal tournament in Lawrence

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

NORTH COURTLAND — About 20 people face gambling charges after a robbery-turned-shooting exposed an illegal gambling operation in North Courtland on Friday night.

The incident left one man with a gunshot wound in his buttock, five people in jail and about 20 people without their earnings. Police plan to make more arrests this week, said North Courtland Police Chief Alex Taylor.

According to Taylor, Michael Mason, 40, of 1012 James Ave., North Courtland, was hosting a gambling tournament at 918 Church Ave., the home of his girlfriend, Sandra Grant.

One of the gamblers, McKinley Bolding, 21, of 925 Smith St., North Courtland, apparently lost all of his money and left the home angry and broke, said Taylor.

Bolding returned a couple of hours later with three friends, pistols and the intention of getting his money back, said Taylor. They all wore masks over their faces to conceal their identities.

During the armed robbery, one of the men shot Timothy Carter, 34, of North Courtland in the buttocks.

"We're not sure exactly why he was shot," said Taylor. "He didn't move fast enough for them or something."

The men ran out the door with more than $3,000 and escaped in a green Honda, said Taylor.

No one in the home notified police of the robbery and shooting because they knew they would be arrested for gambling, said Taylor.

Police may never have known if a Hillsboro police officer hadn't pulled the shooting victim and his two friends over for speeding on their way to Decatur General Hospital.

And the alleged robbers may never have been arrested if they hadn't driven past the officer while the victim was explaining what happened.

One of the men in the car immediately recognized the green Honda and alerted the officer.

"(The police officer) stopped them and arrested three right away, but one of them jumped out and ran," said Taylor. "He dropped $500 on his way out."

Police charged Bolding with first-degree robbery. He remained in Lawrence County Jail on Monday. Bond had not been set.

Police also charged Chad Ladald Houston, 23, of 2224 Wind Trace Circle, Huntsville, and Javahn Stephen Barry, 34, of 15986 Alabama 20, Hillsboro, with first-degree robbery. They both remained in Lawrence County Jail on Monday. Bond had not been set.

Police are still searching for the suspect who fled and are trying to determine which of the four men shot Carter, said Taylor.

He said police will also arrest all those involved in the gambling operation and planned to issue warrants Monday evening. They will likely face gambling and loitering charges, he said.

Officers arrested Mason and Grant on Friday and charged them with conspiracy to promote gambling and tampering with evidence.

The County Jail released them Saturday on $1,250 bond each.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department assisted in the investigation.

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