A federal lawsuit is claiming that several Bibb County, Alabama law enforcement officials, including then-Sheriff Keith Hannah who later committed suicide, protected a rapist and a murderer.
The lawsuit alleges that Hannah and other officials protected John Barry Hubbard who was stalking and terrorizing his ex-girlfriend and her sister. According to AL.com, police protected Hubbard for months as he shot of the window of the victim’s business and tried to push her car into a pool. They also allegedly witnessed and ignored video footage of him putting defamatory posters up around her. The lawsuit claims that police refused to warn the women of the danger Hubbard, then 60, was capable of.
On July 21, 2015, Hubbard killed 30-year-old Kandi Murphy (pictured below) after shooting her four times. He also dragged the murder victim’s sister Tammy Murphy Carpenter, then 46, into a wooded area and raped her, according to the lawsuit. Hubbard was charged with capital murder and stalking. Hannah committed suicide in 2016, according to the New York Daily News.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Henry F. "Hank" Sherrod on behalf of Carpenter. The suit is against Frankie Hannah, representative of Keith Hannah's estate; Keith Crofford, Hannah's chief investigator; Harold Randolph, a Bibb County businessman, Hubbard's employer and a close friend of Hannah's; Jeffrey Randolph, Harold Randolph's son and business partner in Aranco LLC and Randolph Company; Shelby Jean Hubbard, and Gary Wade Rowland, relatives of Hubbard.
Jamie Helen Kidd, an represenying Hannah's estate filed a motion to dismiss the sheriff's estate from the lawsuit. She claims the former sheriff is entitled to immunity from prosecution, according to Al.com
"The allegations in the instant case do not plausibly suggest that Sheriff Hannah was aware that John Barry Hubbard was as dangerous as he turned out to be towards either Tammy Carpenter or Kandi Murphy,'' Kidd's motion reads. "Further, they do not suggest that he either emboldened or ignored the risk of which he was aware."
Kidd wrote that her client was making propert steps to investigate and prosecute Hubbard.
"With the benefit of hindsight, his actions would appear to be too little and too late,'' according to the motion. "There is no preexisting law, however, that would have given Sheriff Hannah notice at the time that he was constitutionally required to take different or more action."
Attorney Robert Spence, who represents Rowland and Shelby Jean Hubbard in the lawsuit also filed a motion to dismiss his clients from the suit. "The allegations fail to assert how these parties might have known that by giving Tammy and Hubbard a ride after their vehicle broke down that they were assisting Hubbard to escape, and completely fail to allege that Tammy requested any assistance,'' Spence's motion reads.
Lawyers for Crofford and the Randolph family deny all allegations.
According to the suit, Carpenter and Hubbard were in a toxic relationship. Hubbard abused Carpenter and when she tried to leave, Hubbard kept Carpenter hostage in her home and raped her. When Carpenter escaped, she seeked out out psychiatric care. After being released she and her sister Kandi reported the rape to police.
"Charges were not brought because Harold Randolph intervened on Hubbard's behalf,'' the suit claims. Hubbard was employed by the Randolph family, one of the largest landowners in the county. The suit claims he was close friend of the sheriff's.
"Randolph and Hannah conspired and agreed to protect Hubbard from criminal charges and arrest,'' according to the suit. "Hannah enlisted other members of his department in this conspiracy, including Keith Crofford, Hannah's chief investigator."
Hubbard has not yet been convicted.
[Photo: Bibb County Sheriff's Office, Facebook]