Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska promises to seek the death penalty in the case of a man accused of killing his stepfather. The veteran prosecutor said two Capital Murder warrants have been obtained against Michel Allen Tharp, 40, of Cowarts.
One charge alleges Tharp killed Joseph Hendley, 68, during the commission of a robbery while the other alleges murder during the commission of a burglary. Valeska said two separate capital murder allegations can be made even though one death occurred. The shooting occurred December 12.
Tharp is accused of going to Hendley's home where the two got into an argument regarding money. Family members say he was intoxicated at the time. Tharp fled in Hendley's pickup truck after gunning down his stepfather and was arrested two days later in Baldwin County after investigators received a tip Tharp was headed to a truck stop in Loxley.
Tharp appeared Sunday before Houston County Judge Benjamin Lewis where he was advised of charges against him. He filed an Affidavit of Hardship claiming he has no funds or income. A court appointed attorney will represent him.
Valeska said he plans to present evidence to a grand jury this week and predicts indictments will be issued within a few days.
Funeral services were held Sunday for Hendley. Valeska was among those in attendance.