News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2007

2 sentenced in shooting of Decatur native

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

BIRMINGHAM — Two carjackers who shot and nearly killed a Decatur native during a crime spree face long federal prison sentences.

Keundre Lerico Johnson, 19, of Birmingham and Mackese Walker Speight, 29, of Dolomite abducted and robbed Amy Holaway Rogers in Homewood and then shot her as she tried to flee her vehicle on a Hoover roadway July 31.

Johnson and Speight conspired with three juveniles to commit the crimes, which included the robbery at gunpoint of a pizza delivery driver July 26, and the abduction and carjacking of a woman at a car wash in Leeds following Holaway's shooting, said U.S. District Attorney Alice H. Martin.

Both plead guilty. Speight was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Thursday to 68 years in federal prison for car-jacking, conspiracy and firearms violations. Johnson was sentenced April 26 to 71 years in prison for carjacking and firearms violations.

Rogers' mother, Connie Holaway Hulsey of Decatur, said Rogers gave a victim impact statement at Johnson's sentencing.

"It was difficult for her to see him, but she did tell him that she forgave him for what he had done, when she was still on the side of the road where he had left her for dead. She stated she still has fears, felt he was only sorry because he had been caught, because they only escalated in what they were doing," Hulsey said.

"He (Johnson) had threatened, while in jail, to 'do something big' at the courthouse, so there were about 10 U.S. Marshals there, three of which moved in to block him from Amy when he stood up to testify. That was comforting to know, because it was such a hard time for Amy to face him again."

Shot through the back, Rogers underwent surgery to remove her spleen and a kidney.

"Amy is coming along fairly well with her recovery, Hulsey said. "Physically, she has healed. It is the emotional part that will take longer for recovery.

"She is going for counseling at the Enrichment Center, and that is helping a lot," Hulsey said. "She has a fantastic husband and church family that is tremendously supportive. Plus, her sense of humor helps too. Her favorite retort now, when people are picking on her is, 'Don't do that to me, I've been shot!' "

Hulsey said Johnson is appealing his sentence and Speight is expected to do the same. Following appeals, both will face trial on state charges of attempted murder.

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