Suspect faces murder

Published 11:45 am Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Clanton man is facing murder charges after a victim, who was beaten with a stick Monday in Lomax, died Tuesday in the hospital.

Jessie Lee Crockett, 49, of Old Henry Road was arrested Monday following the assault of Mack Arthur Burden Jr., 43, of County Road 356 after the two apparently got into an argument, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said Thursday.

About 7 p.m. Monday, Clanton Police and Fire departments responded to the area of Caver Drive and Old Henry Road and found a victim lying in a ditch that had “obviously” been assaulted, police reports indicated. Burden was treated on the scene by Clanton Fire and transported to Chilton Medical Center. He was then airlifted to UAB Hospital, where he died about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Clanton Police Detective Freddie Mayfield and initial responding officers discovered that the victim allegedly had a verbal argument with Crockett that turned violent.

“The two were walking down the road together and got into a verbal argument, and Mr. Crockett allegedly picked up a stick and struck Mr. Burden several times on his head and upper body,” Stilwell said.

The victim was able to walk down Old Henry Road to where he was found near Caver Street.

Since Burden later died in the hospital, Crockett’s assault charges have since been upgraded to murder. Bail was denied for the suspect, and he is in the Chilton County Jail.

“This was a senseless act, and alcohol may have been involved. Our emergency medical personnel did a valiant job trying to save Mr. Burden. Our police officers and Detective Mayfield worked swiftly to take Mr. Crockett into custody,” Stilwell said.

This case is the city’s first homicide of 2009.