Police: Murder Suspect Kidnapped, Robbed Men Days Before Slaying
A man charged with capital murder after a fatal shooting at a Tuscaloosa apartment complex Sunday allegedly beat, kidnapped and robbed two men a week before the killing, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Police believe that the suspect, 25-year-old Devonte Montel Hinton, was involved in a robbery-gone-wrong Sunday that left 35-year-old Justin Lanier Douglas dead at Sun Valley Apartments.
Nine days before the killing, on August 21, Hinton and another man allegedly broke into an apartment on Dogwood Lane in Tuscaloosa off Skyland Boulevard. According to the deposition, two men were inside, and Hinton pistol-whipped one with a revolver so hard, "it sliced his earlobe almost in half."
Hinton and his accomplice allegedly robbed the two men and forced them into their own van and made them drive to gas stations on Skyland and Highway 69 South to pull more cash from ATMs there.
The victims were allowed to leave, did not report the robbery until August 24th. The investigation was still underway Sunday when Douglas was shot and killed in a similar home invasion and robbery.
Hinton was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with capital murder for Douglas' death. He remains in the Tuscaloosa County Jail with no bond.
Investigators pulled surveillance footage from both gas stations in the August 21st robbery and developed Hinton as a suspect. He was interviewed by police and reportedly confirmed he was depicted in the images but said the victims were just giving him a ride.
In addition to the capital murder charges Hinton faces in connection with the Sunday shooting, he was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of kidnapping for the earlier incident.