CLEBURNE COUNTY – On June 11 at the annual meeting of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Cleburne County attorneys Warren Freeman and Nancy Vernon were presented with the association’s Merit Award for their outstanding representation and performance in a criminal case.
Freeman and Vernon represented a young girl charged with capital murder, facing the death penalty. She was accused of killing her 5-month-old baby. After extensive investigation, Freeman and Vernon were able to demonstrate that someone else was responsible for what had happened to the child. After 808 days in the Cleburne County Jail, their client (who is not named here due to the fact that she was given youthful offender status) was released the week before Christmas 2021, and her capital murder case was dismissed.
Freeman also received a second Merit Award in a case that also involved the death of a child. In that case, State v. Anthony Killingsworth, who was also facing the death penalty, Freeman and his co-counsel, Carey Kirby and Will Clay of Anniston, were able to negotiate a manslaughter plea for their 23-year-old client. With good time. he is expected to be out of prison in approximately one year and be able to resume his life.
Freeman is a criminal defense attorney and novelist from Cleburne County and graduated from Cleburne County High School in 1974 and graduated from Jacksonville State University with a degree in political science and economics in 1976. He attended Birmingham School of Law and graduated in 1993 and was admitted to the bar in 1994. Warren and his wife Melinda live in the small community of Abel in Cleburne County.
Vernon graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1970 and graduated from Jacksonville State University and Birmingham School of Law and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1995. She and her husband, Mike, live in Heflin.
Will Clay and Carey Kirby both practice law in Anniston.