McKenzie man dies after shooting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2004

On most days McKenzie is a typical small Alabama town. The small South Butler County community has a reputation for being one of the friendliest spots in the state.

However, earlier in the week the cheerful tone of McKenzie turned sour when news of yet another tragic event hit the streets.

Wednesday morning residents of McKenzie heading to work and school were hit with the news of a homicide in their quiet, little town.

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The citizens of McKenzie have been stunned such a terrible thing could happen in their community. Normally, this time of year everyone's main concern is how the high school matches up in the weekly football game. This week the news of the Main Street shooting has everyone in shock.

According to reports 21-year-old John Frank Davis of Conecuh County was allegedly shot at close range by 17-year-old Theo Cobb of McKenzie. The shooting was said to have happened shortly before 9 p.m. across the street from the People's Bank after the two were involved in an argument.

District Attorney John Andrews said currently Cobb was the only individual charged with murder, but the case was still under investigation.

"He has been charged with murder," said Andrews. "His bond will be set at $50,000. It is still under investigation and the Sheriff is working on it."

Andrews said the trial would proceed as normal.

"He'll get a lawyer or if he can't afford one he will be appointed one," said Andrews. "After that he'll be indicted and they will set it to trial."

The Butler County Sheriff's Department and the Evergreen Police Department picked up Cobb in Evergreen in a joint effort.

Evergreen Police Chief James Simpson's Department immediately aided the Sheriff in making the arrest. Simpson said he was glad to have been able to aid the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

"We were glad to be able to assist Diane in making the arrest," said Simpson. "I think she had all the information when she came in. It was just a matter of territorial respect."

Simpson said when he got the call from Harris he never hesitated to assist her.

"It was just a matter of respect that she asked for our help, but she pretty well knew all the information when she came," said Simpson. "We were glad to be able to help out."

Cobb was a junior at McKenzie High School making the news even tougher.

McKenzie Mayor Betty Stinson said the event was devastating news to the town.

"It's just heartbreaking," said Stinson. "It is just terrible that things like this happen."

Stinson said the fact that a life had been taken made this an occurrence that would be tough to put behind them.

"It is terrible there was a life lost out there," said Stinson. "A life was lost right out there on the streets. That is the worst part of all to me."

McKenzie has been stung with tragedy more than once this year. The murder took place almost directly across the street where fire destroyed a portion of downtown. It had taken months for them to put the fire behind them and now they have another tragic obstacle to overcome.

Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris was unavailable for comment at presstime.