Alvin and Judith Neelley

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Alvin Neelley
Born
Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr.

(1953-07-15)July 15, 1953
DiedOctober 21, 2005(2005-10-21) (aged 52)
Cause of deathSurgical complication
Spouse(s)
Judith Neelley
(m. 1980; his death 2005)
Children3
Conviction(s)murder and aggravated assault
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Details
Victims2
Span of crimes
1982–1982
CountryUnited States
State(s)Georgia
Date apprehended
October 14, 1982
Imprisoned atBostick State Prison, Hardwick, Georgia
Judith Neelley
Born
Judith Ann Adams

(1964-06-07) June 7, 1964 (age 54)
Spouse(s)
Alvin Neelley
(m. 1980; his death 2005)
Children3
Conviction(s)murder
Criminal penaltyDeath commuted to life in prison
Details
Victims2
Span of crimes
1982–1982
CountryUnited States
State(s)Georgia
Date apprehended
October 9, 1982
Imprisoned atJulia Tutwiler Prison for Women, Wetumpka, Alabama

Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr. (July 15, 1953 – October 21, 2005) and Judith Ann Adams Neelley (born June 7, 1964) are an American couple who committed the kidnappings and torture murders of Lisa Ann Millican and Janice Kay Chatman; they also attempted a third abduction. Judith was sentenced to death in 1983, but her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1999.[1] She is serving her sentence at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama.[2] Alvin was serving a life sentence at the Bostick State Prison in Hardwick, Georgia at the time of his death in 2005.[1]

Early lives[edit]

Alvin Neelley[edit]

Alvin Howard Neelley, Jr., was born in 1953 in Georgia, where he was a car thief during his teenage years. He met his second wife, Judith Ann Adams, when he was 26 years old and she was 15. Alvin divorced his first wife shortly before eloping with Judith in 1980.[3]

Judith Ann Neelley[edit]

Judith Ann Adams was born in Murfeesboro, Tennessee, on June 7, 1964. Her father, an alcoholic, died in a motorcycle accident when she was nine. After meeting Neelley, she began her life of crime, committing armed robbery across the country (even when heavily pregnant) for which she was later caught. She gave birth to twins while incarcerated at Rome, Georgia's Youth Development Center.[3]

Youth Development Center crimes[edit]

On September 11, 1982, Ken Dooley, a Youth Development Center employee, was shot at four times. The following day, fellow employee Linda Adair's home was firebombed with a Molotov cocktail. Phone calls were made to the victims following the attacks by a female who claimed to have been sexually abused at the YDC, but neither victim could identify the caller's voice.[4][5]

Lisa Ann Millican[edit]

Lisa Ann Millican, a 13-year-old girl from Cedartown, Georgia, was abducted by the Neelleys from Rome's Riverbend Mall on September 25, 1982.[4] She was taken to a motel in Scottsboro, Alabama, where the couple held her captive. During her captivity, Lisa was raped by both Neelleys multiple times. On September 28, Judith injected Lisa with Drano, first into one side, and later into both sides of her neck, both arms, and both buttocks in an attempt to poison her to death. Liquid Plumber was also used on some of the injections. When the painful poisoning failed to kill her, Lisa was shot in the back execution-style by Judith. Her body thrown over a cliff in the Little River Canyon in Fort Payne, Alabama.[1] Judith later called various police agencies several times to report the location of Lisa's body, where it was found on the canyon floor draped over a fallen tree.[6]

Janice Chatman and John Hancock[edit]

Janice Chatman and John Hancock were a young engaged couple from Rome. On October 4, 1982, they were abducted by Judith.[4] Hancock was shot while Chatman was abducted and brought back to the Neelleys' motel room, where she was tortured and murdered. Hancock, however, survived the shooting and was able to identify the Neelleys as his assailants.[6]

Arrests and trial[edit]

Judith was arrested on October 9, 1982, and Alvin was taken into custody a few days later.[4] Judith was deduced as being the perpetrator in the YDC attacks.[6] To avoid the death penalty, Alvin pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated assault in Georgia. He was not tried for the Millican murder.[6]

Judith's trial began on March 7, 1983, in Fort Payne. Before her trial, however, she gave birth to a third child behind bars.[4] Judith was ultimately convicted of the torture murder of Lisa Ann Millican. Despite a jury's recommendation to sentence Judith to life in prison, Judge Randall Cole sentenced the 18-year-old mother of three to death in Alabama's electric chair.[7] After her conviction, Judith pleaded guilty to Chatman's murder.

Aftermath[edit]

Alvin was incarcerated at the Bostick State Prison from 1983 until his death in October 2005.[1]

At 18-years-old, Judith became the youngest woman sentenced to death in the U.S. She was placed on Alabama's death row, at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. Judith appealed for a new trial, but it was denied in March 1987. In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed her death sentence. On January 15, 1999, Judith was days from her execution date when Governor Fob James commuted her sentence to life in prison with a possibility of parole in another 15 years (thus, a minimum of 31 years in prison).[7][8] The decision was met with controversy, but Gov. James – long known for his "tough" position on crime – cited the jury's recommendation for Judith's sentencing. Judith would have been eligible for parole in January 2014, at age 49, but the Alabama legislature passed a law in 2003 that made her ineligible.[7][8]

In the media[edit]

On February 28, 2008, the Neelleys' case was profiled on the Investigation Discovery (ID) program Most Evil. On a scale developed by forensic psychiatrist Michael Stone, Judith was ranked as a category 22 killer, the "most evil" level deemed for serial torture murderers.[9] The Neelleys were later featured on the ID programs Wicked Attraction[10] and Deadly Women.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Alvin Neelley Dies In Prison". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  2. ^ "Inmate Search Results". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ a b "Nightrider and Lady Sundown: The Bonnie and Clyde of Georgia". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Judy Neelley - A woman on death row". Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  5. ^ "Nightrider and Lady Sundown: The Bonnie and Clyde of Georgia". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  6. ^ a b c d "Alvin and Judith Ann Neelley". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  7. ^ a b c "Nightrider and Lady Sundown: The Bonnie and Clyde of Georgia". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  8. ^ a b "Judith Ann Neelley no longer eligibile for parole". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  9. ^ "Most Evil : Episode Guide : Investigation Discovery". Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  10. ^ "Wicked Attraction: Investigation Discovery". Archived from the original on 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  11. ^ "Twisted Thrills". Archived from the original on August 15, 2011.