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June 15, 2014

Maynor’s murder hearing set for Tuesday

CULLMAN — A hearing date for James Maynor has been set for Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in regards to the murder charge he faces for allegedly shooting the man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years earlier.

Defense lawyer Tommy Drake filed the habeas corpus motion in Cullman County Circuit Court on Friday, and a tentative preliminary hearing is set to go before Judge Gregory Nicholas on Tuesday morning.

Maynor allegedly shot registered sex offender Raymond Earl Brooks at the home he shared with his parents last Sunday night. Brooks had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the suspect’s now-adult daughter in 2002 when she was a young girl.

The suspect has also been charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment and shooting into an occupied building in an earlier incident outside the Berlin Quick Mart gas station involving his stepdaughter’s boyfriend, though no one was hurt. Investigators say there was a history of “bad blood” between the two.

Drake said he is immediately seeking Maynor’s bail be lowered, as it is currently set at approximately $141,000 “cash only,” which he says is impossible for his client to reach.

“Cash only bail is never acceptable or legal where a person is indigent or does not have the means to make a cash bond. Some courts have ruled that it is a discrimination on wealth,” Drake told The Times. “Mr. Maynor is a heavy equipment operator. And while he has been consistently employed for years in his current job; like most of us, he has obligations to his family which far outstrips his income. Simply put, he has less than $500 on hand. Cash only bail, in reality, is no bail at all.”

Drake said he will contest it is not “reasonable” under the eighth amendment to set bail at this level because it is “illusory and unobtainable,” and urge the court to convert the bond to a more common property bond.

“We are simply requesting a ‘reasonable’ bond within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment and Article 1,  Section 16 of the Alabama Constitution,” Drake said. “Alabama law states that: prior to conviction, a person shall be entitled to bail ‘as a matter of right.’ Simply using the word ‘bail’ means nothing if it is unobtainable.”

Maynor’s case has made headlines nationwide, and a social media campaign in support of him has garnered more than 2,700 followers. A fundraising campaign to help with Maynor’s legal fees has accrued $940 with 32 donors as of Saturday evening.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 134.

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