Christoper Jarome Thomas was indicted last week for murder and first-degree assault for a shooting outside of Benson’s Community Center in 2020.

Thomas, 19, of Alexander City is accused of shooting Antwain Laquan Morgan, 20 outside the North Central Avenue business.

Deputy police chief James Easterwood said police were already in the area of Benson Community Center the morning of the shooting about 2 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2020 to help with traffic control when gunfire erupted.

“An officer heard gunshots,” Easterwood said. “Other officers responded to help patrol and investigate. A 20-year-old male gunshot victim from Dadeville was found.”

Easterwood said the victim was transported by an ambulance from the Alexander City Fire Department to Russell Medical where he died. Investigators were at Russell Medical gathering evidence when another shooting victim arrived.

“While at the hospital another person showed up with gunshot wounds to the leg,” Easterwood said. “It occurred in the same area as the first victim. His injuries (were) non-life threatening.”

The shooting appears to stem from an incident earlier in the night.

It took authorities about six weeks, finally near Goodwater, with the help of the U.S. Marshalls Service to locate and arrest Thomas but it was for lack of trying.

“We chased him around town one day,” Turner said. “It was rumored he left town but we couldn’t confirm it. We then turned his information over to the Marshalls Service to aid us in finding him.”

Court records reveal more detail about the Alexander City Police Department’s chase of Thomas on Sept. 14. The records said Thomas tried to elude police.

“He drove erratically with speeds up to 90 mph almost wrecking three times,” the records state.

The court documents said a 1 year-old was in the car as Thomas fled from police. The incident led to additional charges of attempted murder, attempting to elude law enforcement and possession of a controlled substance.

Thomas is no stranger to law enforcement. According to court records, since February Thomas has bonded out of the Tallapoosa County Jail following arrests for robbery, second-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, four counts of breaking and entering a vehicle, burglary, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Thomas is currently in the Tallapoosa County Jail with no bond available to him.

Murder is a Class A felony. If Thomas is found guilty of murder he could be sentenced to between 10 and 99 years in prison.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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