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Driver facing murder charge
2006 collision killed
Moulton mother of 6

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-235

A Winston County man faces a charge of murder in the death of a mother of six killed in a head-on traffic collision near Decatur.

Morgan County Jail released Christopher Middlebrooks, 37, on $50,000 bond after he turned himself in Wednesday. A grand jury indicted Middlebrooks in May, about a year after the crash on Old Moulton Road killed 33-year-old Mechelle Jones Powers of Moulton.

The indictment alleges Middlebrooks "did, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, recklessly engage in conduct that created a grave risk of death" and caused Powers' death by hitting her car.

Witnesses said they saw Middlebrooks' westbound pickup driving erratically prior to the wreck May 17, 2006.

Earlier wreck

Trooper Curtis Summerville, a state trooper spokesman, said Middlebrooks was involved in a wreck on Beltline Road and left the scene of that accident shortly before the fatal wreck.

State troopers at the scene said it appeared Middlebrooks' westbound pickup crossed completely into the opposing lane on a curve near the Lawrence County line and struck Powers' eastbound car.

The crash critically injured Middlebrooks, who spent two days in Huntsville Hospital's neurological intensive care unit after being taken from the scene by a medical helicopter.

The indictment did not say whether authorities believe Middlebrooks was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Attempts to reach District Attorney Bob Burrell for further information were unsuccessful.

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