Alabama Offenders


The US Supreme Court in the Spring of 2012 will hear the case of Miller vs Alabama. This is the third time the court has considered punishment for youth–the first time in 2005 in Roper v. Simmons, ending the death penalty for youths who commit murder as minors; the second time was in 2010 in Graham v. Florida, ending life-without-parole for those who commit non-homicide crimes as minors.

The cases are Miller v. Alabama (docket 10-9646) and Jackson v. Hobbs (10-9647); the Court granted review of the two separately, but said  that it will hear oral arguments in them back-to-back.  Those hearings  are likely to be in late February, with the decision before next summer.

In the Alabama case, Evan James Miller, above in foreground,  was convicted of killing a  neighbor in Country Life Trailer Court near the town of Speake in the rural, north-central part of the state.  In  July 2003,  Miller and another youth had been drinking with Miller’s  52-year-old neighbor, Cole Cannon, when a fight broke out.  Miller was  later convicted of beating Cannon so severely that he could not get up  from the floor, and died of inhaling smoke after Miller had set fire to  the trailer, apparently to cover up evidence of the crime. Read the story in the Decatur Daily News here.

Here is the Murderpedia entry on this offender.


The victim’s family sends NOVJL this copy of the attempt by convicted murderer Nathan Boyd to obtain sentencing relief from his life sentence for murder.

Richard Sharp Shelton, 17

Mr. Shelton was the son of the housekeeper of his victim, Jerry Burt, a beloved father who was brutally murdered by Mr. Shelton and a 20 year old nephew of Mr. Burt. Mr. Shelton is now asking, of course, for a new sentence – he does not want to serve the life sentence he earned for this murder.

 Christopher Michael Thrasher

Nathan Gast

Carvin Stargell

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) – Relatives of a murder victim from Oneonta continue their fight this week. They are fighting to keep one of their loved one’s killers behind bars.

It has been nearly 19 years since 15-year-old Allen Eakes and 14-year old Kevin Duncan were assaulted with a baseball bat and left to drown near the Shades Creek Bridge off Highway 150 in Hoover.

Three men were convicted in the killings and one of them, Nathan Gast, has a parole hearing this week. Allen Eakes’s brother and sister will be at the hearing to fight the parole petition.

With the holidays approaching, the possibility of Gast going free is even more troubling.  “Because we miss him, and we know he would be here, and his children would be here, that’s hard,” said Eddie Eakes, the victim’s brother. “All we have to do is go visit his tombstone and grave. That’s all we have to remember him by.”

Nathan Gast’s parole hearing is set for Tuesday. His last opportunity for parole in 2001 was denied.

Carvin Stargell and Christopher Thrasher are serving life sentences without parole for their part in the killings.

  • Melody Brinson

    Nathan Gast is my older brother. He was locked up when I was 2 years old, and now I’m about to be 20.

    What people do not realize about this trial is that Nathan was fourteen years old when this crime took place, and he had no idea what he was getting himself into that night.

    He was in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time.

    What these articles never tell you is that Carvin Stargell and Christopher Thrasher told Nathan that if he did not assist in the crime (so he couldn’t be a witness) that they were going to kill him too. What would you have done in that situation at fourteen years old?

    This crime was a very tragic , and I completely understand where the siblings of the victims are coming from. I am definitely sympathetic to their situation, as I know what it’s like to lose a brother. I just want him to be able to come home. He is one of the brightest, kindest, most intelligent people I know. We all dream of Nathan being able to come home. My mother still cries almost every day. The only communication we have with him is through letters, and fifteen minute collect calls. I hardly even know him.

    I’m only posting this to show that sometimes we may need to hear the whole story before deciding how we feel about a situation =)

    • Anonymousonex1

      All you get is letters and fifteen minute phone calls? I bet the victim’s family would give anything and everything for just one letter or just one two second phone call

    • Angel

      I knew both your Brother and Chris very well . I can not even comprehend either of them hurting anyone ever. But sweety you do need to get your facts straight because Chris was not even present when the murders took place. I do believe that Nate was bullied by Carvin because it was the opposite of who he was to do this ! Chris is in prison for crimes he did not committ ! I am a law student now and have discussed this case numerious times with my professors..each one is blown away by Chris’ conviction …scratching their heads . He was a child…with no power to force anyone to do anything. I am so sorry for all of the families involved .

    • NOVJL

      Melody, we appreciate your posting at and we do indeed feel a great deal of sympathy for the tragedies that you all are suffering as a result of these crimes as well. I do want to take issue with your “he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time” tone – that is seldom helpful to advance the conversation, as it seeks to avoid responsibility and truly fails to understand what goes wrong, and what causes such horrific crimes. We also would encourage you NOT to compare your “loss” to the loss of the victims families. You did NOT lose a brother. He is still alive. He is still your brother. And he still needs you. You all can love and help each other for the rest of your lives. We are not in the same boat as you. Losing a family member to murder is permanent and absolute and you really can’t and shouldn’t ever say that you “completely understand” what we are going through – because you can’t possibly. Just as I would never pretend to tell you that I know how you must be feeling. I have often thought how much harder it must be to be the family member of a murderer than a murder victim, in some ways.

  • Robert Maiden

    Seems to me that Evan Miller got a fair trial and if the only fact was he was 14 years old at the time that he committed this heinous crime is no reason for him not to serve the sentence handed down by the court ,So what he had a terrible childhood so do a lot of people myself included that still does not mitigate the fact he killed some defenseless man in cold blood over $300 dollars and some baseball cards he needs to man up and accept his actions my prayers go out to the victims family and I can say honestly I hope the courts uphold his sentence