15-year-old charged with murder after relative stabbed to death

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, January 2, 2014

A 15-year-old male has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of his 69-year-old female relative on County Road 356.

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis said authorities received a 911 call around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning to a report that a woman was unconscious at her home in the 400 block of County Road 356.

Once on the scene, authorities found Annareta Fells outside her mobile home with multiple stab wounds.

“We received a call that the lady was in her yard at the residence unconscious and not breathing,” Davis said. “She was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Davis said the investigation to locate a suspect started immediately and authorities received a call that a 15-year-old male was spotted walking a few miles from the home with a backpack.

“Officers spotted the individual after 20-30 minutes and after a short foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody,” Davis said. “There were no injuries during the pursuit.”

Davis said after the teen was taken into custody, an investigation continued throughout the day Monday and the teen was charged with murder.

Davis could not confirm the relationship between Fells and the teen and said authorities are still working to determine what might have caused the teen to stab Fells to death.

“We don’t know why this happened,” Davis said. “There was quite a bit of evidence collected on the scene but we are still working to determine the teen’s exact reasoning. “We don’t know if there was some kind of altercation that took place or what might have started it but we are still going through the evidence.”

The teen was originally taken to the Chilton County Jail but was later transported to the Shelby County Youth Detention Center.

He was scheduled to appear before Chilton County Judge Rhonda Hardesty at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Due to the teen’s age, Davis said it was unclear if he would be tried in court as an adult or a juvenile.

Chief District Attorney C.J. Robinson said the case was still under investigation but the more serious the crime the more likely the teen would be charged as an adult.

“Due to the teen’s age, there is a process we must follow,” Robinson said. “However, the killing of another person is as serious as it gets.”

Elijah Good, who lives across the street from Fells’ home, called the incident a “tragedy.”

“I hope this incident sends a message to all community leaders that we need to come together and reach out to our youth because they are the next generation,” Good said. “The young people are our future. Young people need to feel like they are part of something; if they have a mindset that they are nothing, then they grow up feeling like they are nothing.”

Good declined to comment on specifics of the incident but did say his neighbors were good people.

“We may never know what happened,” Good said. “Our youth will not change because of programs, but they will change because of people.”