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YEAR IN REVIEW: Tornadoes dominate beginning of 2012

Published 7:18pm Friday, December 28, 2012

Lasserre, 53 at the time of her death, was last seen leaving Clanton Walmart at 8:21 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2005.

She was traveling Autauga County Road 1 and was seven miles from her home at the time of her murder. Her body was discovered on Dec. 20, 2005, about 50 feet from the road and about 1 mile from her home. Wynn’s arraignment was set before a circuit court judge on March 9 at the Autauga County Courthouse. Lasserre was being held at the Autauga Metro Jail on $350,000 bond for the charges.

At the time the indictment was issued, Wynn was being held on unrelated charges of burglary, theft and sodomy.

In April, Wynn did not enter a plea that was originally scheduled for April 2.

Circuit Court Judge Sibley Reynolds granted Wynn and his legal representation a continuance so they could review new evidence obtained by the prosecution, according to Jenny Hamilton, spokeswoman for District Attorney Randall Houston’s office.

A trial was set for Dec. 10 in Autauga County where Wynn was found guilty of rape and murder in the first degree by Judge Sibley Reynolds and is awaiting sentencing.

MARCH

Escaped killer turns himself in

An escaped killer turned himself over to authorities Feb. 27 in Clanton.

Mario Streeter was serving an 18-year sentence for a murder in Elmore County he was convicted of in 1996. He escaped from the Mobile (Ala.) Community Work Center, where a routine inmate count at 6:35 a.m. Sunday determined Streeter was missing, said Brian Corbett, Alabama Department of Corrections Public Information Manager.

The work center was a minimum-security facility to house inmates who were within three years of their scheduled release date, such as Streeter.

Streeter notified authorities of his whereabouts Feb. 27 and was picked up by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at Scottish Inn, off Seventh Street South in Clanton.

Corbett said he was unsure why Streeter was in Clanton and authorities thought Streeter was traveling with assistance from his wife.

County hit again: EF-2 tornado rakes Verbena area

A March 2 tornado skirted the southeastern edge of the county according to Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum.

The storm marked the second time in less than six weeks that Chilton County had been hit with a nighttime twister without any serious injuries. Maplesville and the Enterprise community were hit by separate tornadoes back on Jan. 23.

The Verbena tornado stayed on the ground for 28 miles March 2, according to the National Weather Service crews who surveyed the damaged path.

The tornado touched down just east of Interstate 65 south of Exit 200, where a few trees were snapped or uprooted.

The twister quickly strengthened and grew to 700 yards wide as it crossed County Road 503. It then moved east across U.S. 31, near the intersection with County Road 526.

Winds intensified to 125 miles per hour, destroying one home and causing significant damage to another, as well as mowing down hundreds of trees around the houses.

The tornado continued to snap and uproot trees as it neared County Road 524, where it demolished two single-wide manufactured homes and caused significant damage to two houses. The Weather Service says 13 homes were destroyed or damaged near Verbena.

Town to save Foshee house

The town of Maplesville assumed ownership of the historic Foshee house from Ovid Merchant in a council meeting March 12.

Merchant, a resident of Randolph, had owned the old house and surrounding property for about five years. After storms left the house in significant disrepair, Merchant sought the town’s help.

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