Terminally ill Alabama man calls police to confess to 1995 cold-case killing

Terminally ill Alabama man calls police to confess to 1995 cold-case killing

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A terminally ill man in his fifties has allegedly called police claiming he is responsible for a cold case murder that occurred in Alabama back in 1995. Photo / AP

The days without an arrest turned into months and then years after someone killed Christopher Alvin Dailey in 1995. While never closed, the case went cold without new evidence.

Then the phone rang at the Decatur Police Department.

Johnny Dwight Whited called investigators saying he wanted to confess to the slaying, authorities said on Thursday (US time).

Whited, 53, of Trinity, was charged with murder after providing details that matched evidence and information collected after Dailey’s death, police said in a statement.

Court records don’t include a defence attorney who could speak on behalf of Whited on the murder charge, but he already was awaiting trial on a methamphetamine charge and his trial was scheduled for May. Whited’s lawyer in the drug case, Griff Belser, said he was unaware of the arrest in the slaying until after it was announced by police.

“He has not mentioned anything about this other matter to me,” Belser said.

Whited had a string of arrests for traffic and drug offences through the years including one for possession of a crack cocaine pipe less than three weeks after two hunters found Dailey’s body with a gunshot to the head on April 26, 1995, documents show. The victim’s vehicle was found partially submerged in the Tennessee River.

Without a suspect and no information that could lead to one, detectives kept following leads without any success. Then, on Wednesday, a detective answered the phone.

In a sworn statement, Investigator Sean Mukaddam said he initially spoke to Whited, who agreed to show police the crime scene.

“Detectives met with Whited who re-enacted the crime to detectives and provided corroborated information about the murder,” the statement said.

Authorities said Whited and Dailey did not know each other and declined to discuss a motive, but Mukaddam said Whited is “terminally ill,” the New York Times reported.

While police sometimes make public appeals for information to help resolve old cases, that had not happened with Dailey’s killing. Authorities said it was not clear what prompted the call from Whited, who was jailed for the killing, with bail set at $15,000.

– with AP

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