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YEAR IN REVIEW: Thorsby mayor passes, hospital closes

Published 10:16am Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bittle received 60 votes (68 percent), and Jones received 28 votes (32 percent), including absentee ballots.

In Thorsby, Randall Higgins defeated incumbent Willis Britt 177–172, or 51 percent to 49 percent.

Higgins received 168 regular votes and nine absentee votes for a total of 177 votes.

Man killed by gunshot wound identified

A man who died from a gunshot wound Oct. 9 at Rolling Oaks Apartments was identified as 19-year-old Daquan Marquise Crenshaw.

Crenshaw resided at the apartment on Eighth Street in Clanton where the shooting occurred at about 8:30 p.m.

Clanton Police and other emergency responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene, apparently from a single gunshot wound.

Two people on the scene at the time of the crime were taken by detectives for questioning and later released.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said McKaskin’s arrest was unrelated to the shooting.

Police treated the incident as a death investigation and later determined Crenshaw shot himself accidentally.

Witnesses told investigators Crenshaw thought a .38-caliber handgun had been unloaded when he began jokingly pointing it at his own head and pulling the trigger.

Thorsby mayor Hilyer passes

Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer passed Oct. 16 at the age of 44.

Hilyer in August was re-elected to his second term as mayor.

Town council member Neal Benson said Hilyer was excited about what could be accomplished in his next term.

“Everybody in town is proud of the job he did and was really looking forward to the next four years,” Benson said. “He was a good person to work with. He was just a good person.”

Hilyer had experienced health problems for several months and was undergoing tests to determine the cause when he had a heart attack. He had been hospitalized at Shelby Medical Center in Alabaster since the episode on Oct. 5.

Cancer was apparently the root cause of Hilyer’s health problems.

Hilyer’s death was felt personally by many Thorsby residents, including Benson, who said his wife, Judy, had been good friends with Hilyer since childhood.

Council member Jean Nelson was appointed mayor in November through a majority vote of the council.

Jury hung in trial for baby’s death

An October trial over the death of a 5-month-old child ended with a hung jury.

Patrick Compton, 29, stood accused of murder and aggravated child abuse, but after deliberation, the 12-person jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict, according to information provided by District Attorney Randall Houston.

Defense attorneys representing Compton said they didn’t think the defendant would be convicted–even if there is another trial.

A child abuse charge against Compton was dropped before the trial began on Oct. 1 at the Chilton County Courthouse.

Judge Sibley Reynolds declared the mistrial on Oct. 5.

The incident that led to the child’s death occurred on Dec. 15, 2009 at Compton’s residence on County Road 969 in Jemison.

The child belonged to Compton’s girlfriend, Johnna Phillips.

Hospital ordered to cease operations

The Alabama Department of Public Health shut down Chilton Medical Center on Oct. 29, leaving 150 employees wondering about their jobs and residents without a hospital in their county.

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