FLORENCE — A Muscle Shoals man accused of killing his cousin faces the possibility of the death penalty or spending the rest of his life in jail as a result of being indicted for capital murder, officials said.
The indictment against Raymond Junior Clemmons, 42, of Edison Avenue in Muscle Shoals was issued during this month’s grand jury session, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Monday.
Connolly said Clemmons was originally charged with the murder of Jerry Lewis Ivy, 50, of Palm Street, Florence.
He said the grand jury increased the charge to capital murder after evidence was presented.
“Basically, it came down to the fact that (Ivy) was shot while he was still inside his vehicle,” Connolly said.
Capital murder charges can be filed if a person is killed when two felonies are being committed during the process.
Ivy was killed July 18 during what police called an ongoing family dispute.
Police said Ivy was shot during an altercation at Central Avenue and South Conner Street in east Florence. Police said when they arrived at the scene. Ivy was in his truck, which was parked in the intersection. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ivy’s daughter, Regina Ivy Rogers, said she was relieved to learn about the indictment.
“We’re very glad (Clemmons) was indicted on capital murder,” Rogers said. “It doesn’t take away the fact that we have lost our father, but it means (Clemmons) will never get out of jail if he is convicted. Personally, I think he should pay the ultimate consequences for what he did to my father.”
If convicted of capital murder, Clemmons faces death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Connolly has not announced whether the death penalty will be pursued in the case.
Police said Clemmons left the scene, but turned himself in at the Police Department a short time later.
Authorities said two gun shots were fired, but only one went through the open window of Ivy’s truck and struck him.
Police said Clemmons was apparently at a residence on Central Avenue on the night of the shooting when Ivy and his sister, Wanda Wallace, pulled up in front of the house.
Wallace was not injured during the shooting, police said.
Investigators said witnesses reported that Clemmons walked out of the house and an argument between he and Ivy started. They said Ivy got out of his truck and appeared to have a baseball bat. At that point, they told police that Clemmons went to his car, got a gun and Ivy returned to his truck.
Witnesses told police that Clemmons fired two shots, with one hitting Ivy while he was inside his truck.
Clemmons’ attorney Joe Daniel said his client maintains his actions were in self-defense.
At the time of Clemmons’ arrest, Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said the altercation between the cousins in July was not the first.
Reports indicate in May, a few weeks prior to the shooting, an argument between the two resulted in Ivy being injured when Clemmons hit him in the face with a hammer.
The chief said Ivy’s injuries required him to be taken to the hospital. He added that after reviewing the incident, no charges were issued.
Police said the shooting could have been a continuation from the May fight.
Clemmons is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center without bail.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@Times Daily.com.