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July 3, 2014

Maynor murder case transferred to Judge Turner

Chaney recuses himself after contact with victim in separate case

CULLMAN — Cullman County District Judge Kim Chaney has recused himself from the pending murder trial against Jay Maynor and transferred the case to Judge Rusty Turner. Maynor is charged in the June murder of the man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

Maynor allegedly shot registered sex offender Raymond Earl Brooks at the home he shared with his parents on the night of June 8. Brooks had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the suspect’s now-adult daughter in 2002 when she was a young girl and spent approximately two years in prison before being released.

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.

The case had originally been assigned to Chaney, though the judge came into inadvertent contact with the victim of the attempted murder during a separate and unrelated case. During that contact, the young man reported to the court he was a victim in the shooting case.

Chaney self-disclosed the conversation to all attorneys of record on the case, and issued an order Thursday evening saying he would step aside to avoid the potential appearance of impropriety.

The possible conflict of interest was first disclosed to attorneys at a July 1 update meeting, and Maynor’s attorney Tommy Drake filed a motion accepting the court’s offered recusal.

Maynor remains in lock up at this point, and a previous attempt by Drake to file a writ of habeas corpus was denied, as well as a follow-up motion to vacate that order. Defense is now seeking to waive the case to the grand jury.

Bail is currently set at a $141,000 cash bond, which Drake argued was unattainable and has pushed for a change to a more common property bond. The court ruled the current bond is legal and fair under the state’s bond schedule.

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