Two charged in Sunday murder

Published 6:08 pm Monday, December 28, 2009

Two men are accused of killing an 18-year-old Marbury man early Sunday morning.

Christopher Alan Kroeger, 21, of Prattville and Joshua David Ready, 18, of Montgomery allegedly shot and killed Steven Dorough at a home in Verbena, according to the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department.

A witness to the crime contacted the Prattville Police Department, giving officers an account of the crime and directions to the house on County Road 59. Prattville police then contacted the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department, who responded to the home, which Kroeger’s part-time residence, said sheriff’s deputies.

When deputies arrived at the home, they met Kroeger and Ready. The place reeked of gasoline, according to Chief Deputy Shane Mayfield.

While one deputy stayed with the men, Deputy Eric Smitherman explored outside and found the victim’s body, which had been set ablaze.

“Eric went to where the fire was burning and saw a man in the fire,” said Mayfield.

Dorough died from a gunshot wound, according to the sheriff’s office.

Smitherman said it appears there had been some type of grudge between the victim and Kroeger.

The incident happened before dawn Sunday. Kroeger and Ready were arrested the same day. As of Monday evening, they were in the Chilton County Jail on $500,000 bond apiece.

“I’m sad and disappointed that three families have been destroyed because of this incident,” said Sheriff Kevin Davis.

Investigators believe Kroeger shot the victim, but say both men allegedlly participated in the crime.

Davis said his department has received substantial physical evidence linking the accused to the murder.

A 15-year-old runaway from Florida, apparently Ready’s girlfriend, was taken into custody. She was arrested for providing a fake name to deputies. Juvenile authorities from Florida are expected to come and get the girl later this week.

Sheriff Davis thanked the witness for coming forward and his department for their work.

“Anytime someone knows or sees a crime, it’s very important they share information with law enforcement,” Davis said. “I’m proud of our law enforcement. It was a joint effort where we put together information from multiple agencies.”