- September 13, 2021
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PRATTVILLE — After a series of delays, some associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a trial date has been set in the 2017 Prattville barber shop capital murder case.
Keon Cain, 22, of Prattville, faces three counts of capital murder in the case where three men were killed in what police call a robbery gone wrong at a local barber shop. The victims were well known, and the murders have shocked Prattville, which prides itself on a low crime rate.
Cain is set to go on trial in Clanton beginning March 28, courthouse records show. Circuit Judge Bill Lewis Jr. changed the venue in February of 2020 after dissolving the jury pool while selection process was ongoing in Prattville for Cain’s trial. Lewis made the move after a potential juror admitted to discussing facts of the case with other potential jurors.
Chilton County is part of the 19th Judicial Circuit, which also includes Autauga and Elmore counties.
Lewis held a status hearing on Cain’s case Wednesday morning that lasted about seven minutes.
“I just want to know where we are, and for the attorneys to understand we won’t be continuing this trial again,” Lewis said.
Cain has remained in jail since his arrest shortly after the crime under no bond, standard in a capital case. A gag order has been issued, barring prosecutors and defense attorneys from making comments outside of court proceedings or motions.
More:‘No feelings, no remorse’: Police chief details triple homicide
Marty Morgan, 38, of Prattville and Cain’s co-defendant, has pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder. He was originally charged with three counts of capital murder. The state is recommending a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in Morgan’s case.
Morgan is expected to testify at Cain’s trial.
The killings took place the night of July 3, 2017 at the Hook-Up Barber and Style Shop, which was located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 82 and Highway 14. Assistant District Attorney Josh Cochran told Lewis in previous proceedings that Morgan struck Eddie Dean Scott and Al Seals Benson in the head with a cinder block, causing their death by blunt force trauma. Previous testimony during preliminary hearings brought out that Morgan also shot both men with a handgun. Anthony Smith, owner of the barbershop, was allegedly shot by Cain with a 410.ga. shotgun inside the business.
Smith staggered out of the barbershop and collapsed in the parking lot of a convenience store located next door. Cain approached Smith and shot him in the back of the head, killing him, Cochran said.
Cain’s case has taken a winding route to trial. Following the venue change in February of 2020, all in person court proceedings were cancelled in April in the wake of the pandemic. In person court proceeding shave returned to most circuits several months ago.
The two weeks for Cain’s case in Clanton are needed because if convicted in the guilt phase, the penalty phase begins immediately. The same jury will make the decision if Cain faces the death penalty or is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the only two possible sentences in a capital case.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at email@example.com.