Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds Heat-of-Passion Manslaughter Conviction in Mobile County

For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2023

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of James Lavondria Tunstall, age 27 of Mobile County, for heat-of-passion manslaughter. Tunstall was convicted in the Mobile County Circuit Court on May 19, 2022.

The evidence at trial showed that on May 14, 2018, Tunstall shot and killed the victim, Jermond Perryman, with a rifle. Apparently, Tunstall was angry with the victim for allegedly insulting Tunstall’s girlfriend and shot him during an argument. Tunstall claimed self-defense, but that claim was rejected by both the judge and the jury at trial. Furthermore, a police detective testified that Tunstall got into a standoff with police and attempted to hide or destroy evidence before he was arrested.

Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood’s office successfully prosecuted this case and obtained the guilty verdict. Tunstall was sentenced to fifteen years and one day imprisonment. Tunstall sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm Tunstall’s conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, June 16, 2023.

Attorney General Marshall commends Assistant Attorney General Sara Rogan for her successful work on this case and thanks District Attorney Keith Blackwood and his staff for their valuable assistance in defending this conviction.

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