The trial of a Dothan man accused of capital murder shortly after he was paroled from an Alabama prison has moved one step closer.
Gregory Lawton, 49, is accused of gunning down Milton Jones in a Dothan subdivision known as Ford Country. Jones' body was found slumped in the floorboard of his car after being shot once during what police call a drug-related killing. The shooting occurred in August, 2011.
A status conference was held Tuesday between prosecutors, defense attorneys, and Circuit Judge Butch Binford. A pretrial meeting before a judge is required in such cases to inform the court as to how the case is proceeding, what discovery has been conducted, and other matters relevant to moving the case toward trial.
Lawton spent 26 years in prison before he was paroled a couple of months before Jones was shot to death. Initially, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole but a judge later ordered Lawton should have a chance for release under supervision.
Houston County District Attorney Douglas Albert Valeska claims Lawton had five previous felony convictions when he shot Jones. "(Jones) would be alive today if the life without parole sentence had not been changed," Valeska said during a Dothan Eagle interview conducted a couple of days after the shooting.
Judge Binford said he hopes to move forward with Lawton's trial in November.