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Update to Burglary Investigation
On Wednesday November 15th, 2017, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office released information about a suspect in a local burglary who shot himself when Sheriff’s investigators entered a residence where they believed stolen guns were located. That suspect was transported via LifeSaver to a local hospital where he is still being treated.
Sheriff’s investigators recovered numerous stolen weapons at the residence after the suspect was treated for his injuries and flown to the hospital. They are continuing to investigate the earlier burglary and trying to locate all of the stolen property.
The two other individuals present at the August Road residence yesterday were subsequently arrested and taken to the Shelby County Jail. William Michael Benton Jr., 46 years of age from Columbiana, Alabama, has been charged with Receiving Stolen Property 1st degree, and Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance. His bonds total $45,000. Chance Michael Benton, 22 years of age from Columbiana, Alabama, has been charged with Receiving Stolen Property 1st degree, and Obstructing Governmental Operations. His bonds total $36,000.
The Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force, which is a multi-jurisdictional unit, comprised of law enforcement officers from all local law enforcement agencies and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office is still investigating this series of events. The Shelby County Sheriff's Office is continuing to cooperate fully with their investigation.
For information on the charges listed above, go to the link below.
Anyone with information about the prior burglary or the location of any of the stolen weapons is urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office directly at (205)669-4181, or through our website at www.ShelbySO.com by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing the “General Information” category.
To view a Shelby County inmate’s picture, their charges and bonds, go to www.ShelbySO.com and click on the “Inmate Listing” link at the bottom left. You may then type in the inmates last name and click on the “Search” button or, if you are unsure of the exact spelling, select the first letter of the last name to search for the inmate. An inmate’s information will not be available until he has been booked into the facility.
Suspect Attempts Suicide
On Wednesday November 15,2017, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Shelby County Sheriff's investigators went to a residence on August Road in the Summerhill Community of Shelby County looking for guns stolen in a residential burglary that happened yesterday in the same area. In that burglary a large number of guns were stolen and the residence was set on fire. Sheriff's investigators later received information about who committed the burglary and where the stolen guns had been hidden. When investigators arrived at the reported residence this afternoon they observed someone exit the residence and began to question them. The owner of the residence arrived shortly after and granted permission to the investigators to enter the residence and search for the stolen weapons. The owner opened the residence and investigators went inside. Shortly after entering the residence, Sheriff's investigators saw the reported suspect from yesterday's burglary with a weapon pointed at himself. Sheriff's investigators gave the suspect commands to drop the weapon but he refused and shot himself. Sheriff's investigators immediately called for fire and paramedic rescue to respond and treat the suspect. Southeast Shelby Rescue responded and treated the suspect at the scene. He was then flown to a local hospital by LifeSaver helicopter service.
His condition is unknown at this time. No one else was injured.
The Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force, which is a multi-jurisdictional unit comprised of law enforcement officers from all local law enforcement agencies and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office was called in to lead the investigation. The Sheriff's Office has been and will continue to cooperate fully with their investigation.
Two other suspects were arrested at the scene related to this investigation.
This release will be updated as more information becomes available.
Sheriff Samaniego would like to thank Southeast Shelby Fire and Rescue for their quick response and efforts to help and the Major Crimes Task Force for taking the lead on this investigation.
MEMORIAL SERVICE – BABY DOE
On November 12, 1982 the body of a newborn white female was found at the Shelby County Landfill. Medical examination determined the baby was a live birth and about two days old at the time of discovery. It is believed the baby was from the Columbiana area. This child is known as Baby Doe.
In 1982 SCSO investigators conducted an extensive investigation. However, they were unable to identify Baby Doe or her family. Baby Doe was buried in an unmarked, unrecorded grave in the Columbiana City Cemetery, Paupers Section.
Baby Doe’s case was re-opened by the Sheriff’s Office in 2013 and is being investigated by the Cold Case Unit. The case remains an active investigation at this time.
On November 15, 2017, at 10:00 AM, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will have a memorial service at the Columbiana City Cemetery, Paupers Section. The service is to recognize Baby Doe’s short life and provide a permanent memorial for Baby Doe. Shelby Granite, Calera Alabama, has graciously donated a memorial stone in remembrance of Baby Doe.
Investigators strongly believe that someone in the local area has knowledge of Baby Doe’s identity. Anyone with information is urged to come forward and help identify this baby, and help determine the unfortunate events leading to her being found in the county landfill.
Investigators ask that anyone with information relating to Baby Doe contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office by any of the following means:
Secret Witness Line: 205-669-9116
www.shelbyso.com using the Report Criminal Activity tab Contacting any Patrol Deputy.
In addition to Shelby Granite, the Sheriff’s Office thanks the following agencies and businesses who have assisted in this investigation:
Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences
Shelby County District Attorney’s Office
City of Columbiana, Columbiana Public Works Dept. – including 1982 staff
Shelby County Coroner’s Office – including 1982 staff
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Evidence Collection Unit
Bolton Funeral Home, Columbiana, AL
Wilbert Vault Co., Birmingham, AL
Body Identified By Department of Forensic Science
On November 2, 2017, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of possible human remains found in the area of Egg and Butter Road and Oak Drive near Columbiana, Al. Investigators determined the remains appeared to be the body of an unidentified white female. Investigators gathered all of the evidence at the scene and the body was removed for an autopsy. With the help of the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, the deceased has now been identified as Melissa Ann Cleckler, 27 years of age, from Clanton, Alabama. We know her death was the result of a homicide and investigators are following up on leads but also asking for the public’s help.
This is an ongoing homicide investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the circumstances leading to Ms. Clecker’s death or who has recently seen or talked with her to call CrimeStoppers at (205)254-7777 or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office main office at (205) 669-4181, the secret witness line at (205) 669-9116, or Investigator Jessie Woodard directly at (205) 670-6283.
Sheriff Samaniego expresses his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Cleckler, “I am always sorry when I have to release information like this. At the same time, I always feel as though the best way I can help a family deal with the loss of a loved one is to arrest the person or persons responsible for the grief. I have tremendous faith in the men and women investigating this and believe they will do just that.”
Human Remains Found
On November 2, 2017, Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the report of possible human remains found in the area of Egg and Butter Road and Oak Dr. near Columbiana. Deputies determined the remains were human and appear to be the body of an unidentified white female. This is an ongoing investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on the possible identity of the female, the circumstances leading to her death and how or why she was in this area to call the SCSO main office at (205) 669-4181, the secret witness line at (205) 669-9116, or Investigator Jessie Woodard at (205) 670-6283.
For Immediate Release – Man Arrested for Attempted Murder
On the morning of Saturday, October 28th around 10:50 a.m. deputies responded to a shooting at a residence in the 200 block of Spring Branch Road in unincorporated Shelby County. Deputies met with an adult victim who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital. Wesley Lee Acker, a 36-year-old Columbiana resident and acquaintance of the victim, was quickly identified as the suspect and arrested for Attempted Murder and Assault 1st degree. The motive for the shooting is still unclear.
Wesley Acker posted a $50,000 bond for Attempted Murder and a $10,000 for Assault 1st degree on October 30th.
For more information on Attempted Murder, go to: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm
For more information on Assault 1st degree, go to: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm
Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office directly at (205) 669-4181, the Secret Witness line at (205) 669-9116, or through our website at www.shelbyso.com by clicking on the "Report Criminal Activity" link and choosing "General Information."
To view a Shelby County jail inmate’s picture, their charge, and bond, go to www.shelbyso.com and click on the “Inmate Listing” link at the bottom left. You may then type in the inmate’s last name and click on the “Search” button or, if you are unsure of the exact spelling, select the first letter of the last name to search for the inmate.
Chelsea Railroad Crossing Closed on Saturday
Saturday, September 9th at 7:00 a.m. the railroad crossing in front of Chelsea City Hall will close for repairs until Sunday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m.
Lanes Blocked on 280
The two eastbound lanes of Highway 280 at Alabama Highway 119 are blocked from a traffic accident which occurred around 12:30 today. Expect delays in the area and find an alternate route, if possible.
Lieutenant Sumners Recognized For His Work With Mental Health Awareness
Congratulations to Lieutenant Cody Sumners for receiving the Special Recognition Award from NAMI-Alabama at their 31st Annual Meeting in Montgomery. The award was presented in recognition of the work that Lieutenant Sumners has done to increase the ability of first responders, in Shelby County, to more effectively handle calls involving someone suffering with a mental illness.
Railroad Crossing Closed
Archive of Past News
On Friday morning August 25, 2017, the railroad crossing on Shelby County Highway 61 near the intersection of Alabama Highway 25 in downtown Wilsonville will be closed for an unspecified amount of time for repair. The roadway will be closed to traffic while repairs are underway. This release will be updated when the roadway re-opens.