2 Alabama men plead guilty in 2016 robbery killing

Published 8:55 am Thursday, April 22, 2021

Two Alabama men are pleading guilty in the 2016 killing of a Prattville man shot dead in a robbery.

Local news outlets report that Santwone Jones, 26, and Devonte Hill, 19 both pleaded guilty this month to felony murder in the death of John Michael Taylor.

Taylor was found mortally wounded on a busy street by a passing motorist while walking home from a convenience store where he had withdrawn cash from an ATM. Before dying, Taylor told police key details that would lead to the arrests of three men. The men were also recorded by a security camera at the store.

Jones, Hill and 18-year-old Lil’ Roderick Williams, were each charged with capital murder following their arrests.

Williams pleaded guilty to murder in February.

Hill and Williams were 14 and 15, respectively, at the time of the killing. They were charged as adults and pleaded guilty to adult charges.

Autauga County Circuit Judge Ben Fuller is scheduled to sentence the men on Aug. 26. Prosecutors recommend 20-year sentences for Williams and Hill. The state wants Jones, with three prior felony convictions, to be sentenced to life in prison as a habitual felon.

Chief Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson said the three men “pointed fingers” at each other when asked who shot Taylor.

“We knew a murder occurred, but we told the family we couldn’t, in good conscience, say to them we were confident in getting three capital murder convictions,” Robinson said.