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Beaty sentenced to 30-years for murder of Fayette man

Beaty sentenced to 30-years for murder of Fayette man

  • All three suspects now convicted in Henry's death, robbery


Candice Beaty

Article contributed by The Journal Record

By Scott Johnson
Managing Editor

Hamilton - Candice Cheyanne Beaty, 29, Winfield, has been convicted of first-degree robbery and felony murder in connection with the death of William Jerome Henry in April 2016.

According to court documents released by Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon, Beaty pled guilty to the charges in 25th Judicial Circuit Court on Nov. 12 and was ordered by Circuit Judge Lee Carter to serve a 30-year sentence in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and to pay up to $750 in restitution.

According to the court order, she will not be eligible for probation.

The court order also places Beaty in a substance abuse treatment program.

Henry, 48, Fayette, died after being stabbed in the back during drug-fueled fight involving Beaty and two others, Morgan Shirley and Mareya Hannah.

Hannah, 40, Winfield, Shirley's step-son-in-law, pled guilty to felony murder in May and was sentenced to  20 years by Carter, split with a five-year term in a state penitentiary, after which he will serve five years of probation under the supervision of the state probation office.

Shirley, 54, was found guilty of murder by a jury in June. Hannah testified against Shirley in the trial per a plea agreement with the 25th Judicial Circuit Court District Attorney's Office.

Hannah's charges were reduced from capital to felony murder for agreeing to testify.

Beaty, 25, who is Hannah's wife and Shirley's step-daughter, remained the only suspect not adjudicated in the case.

No information on Shirley's sentencing has been filed with the circuit clerk's office yet.

Henry's murder

According to court testimony by Hannah, events leading up to the murder and robbery of Henry began on April 29, 2016, when Henry sent a text to Hannah and Beaty, asking them if they had any meth. 

Henry arrived at Hannah's residence at 137 Mill Street in Winfield later that night and the three smoked meth and marijuana all night.

Beaty and Hannah devised a scheme to rob Henry during this time by having Beaty begin to send sexually explicit texts to Henry in attempts to lead Henry and her husband into a planned fight, whereupon they would rob him. Hannah told prosecutors Beaty was the one who created the plan.

The three left the residence to purchase more drugs, during which time Beaty called Shirley and asked him to be at their house.

Hannah testified in court that the three suspects planned to "get his (Henry's) dope and whoop his a**." 

Back at the residence, Shirley joined the three in using drugs and Beaty continued making suggestive advances on Henry.

At some point, Hannah and Beaty began to fake a fight in front of Henry.

According to testimony, Hannah shoved his wife and then turned and hit Henry in the face, jumped on his back and attempted to get him in a chokehold.

Henry was able to reverse the hold, and the fight quickly turned in Henry's favor, sparking Beaty and Shirley to get involved.

Shirley grabbed a four-foot aluminum bubble level and hit Henry with it several times, breaking it into two parts and freeing Hannah.

From that point, Hannah was incapacitated, suffering from a panic attack and labored breathing.

As Henry fought Beaty and Shirley, he was stabbed in his back, the knife puncturing four inches deep and piercing his lung and liver.

Hannah stopped short in his testimony from indicating his wife when pressured by the defense as to whose hand the knife was in. Hannah would only say, "Not sure."

Forensic reports showed Beaty's DNA on the knife.

Concluding the fight, Shirley subdued Henry with the bubble level around his neck while Beaty robbed him.

Hannah told Beaty and Shirley to release Henry and asked them to call 9-1-1.

Once released, Henry left the house, collapsing 100 feet from the residence.

Henry was found by Winfield Police Officer Gary Hamlett. Henry was struggling to breathe and Hamlett attempted to give him CPR, but it was not effective.

According to first responders, Henry was dead before arriving at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield.


Winfield Police Chief Brett Burleson said that when he arrived at the scene on April 30, Beaty and Hannah were still at the residence, while Shirley had fled the scene. 

Beaty told investigators initially that Henry had attempted to break into the home.

After searching the house, Burleson said he quickly realized there was more to the story.

Burleson interviewed Hannah later that day at the Winfield Police Department, where he learned that Shirley had been present at the time of the incident.s

Shirley was arrested later that week by Marion County Sheriff's Deputies, who found him hiding in an old shed on a property on Scufflegrit Road in Guin.

Deputies recovered several items from the shed, including controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and various items of jewelry.

From the witness stand, Henry's sister, Goldie Hollis, was able to identify bracelets and a necklace from the recovered jewelry that she had either given her brother or knew that he owned.

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