Parole denied for Birmingham church bomber, Heat Advisory in Alabama

Aug 3, 2016

The final living culprit behind the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was denied parole this morning.

The parole board briefly deliberated and denied 78-year-old Thomas Blanton early release.  Blanton was convicted and sentenced to four life sentences in 2001 for his role in the bombing that killed four girls and injured another. 

Doug Jones is the former US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He was the lead prosecutor in the case against Blanton.  Jones says there was a lot the board had to take into account.

“I think one of the most important aspects of any parole consideration is whether or not the inmate has accepted responsibility for their acts, expressed remorse, you know, done those kind of things that you would expect to have, to see a changed person.”

Jones and members of the families of the victims of the bombing were at the hearing to ask that Blanton stay behind bars.  He will be up for parole again in five years.

Authorities say an Etowah County coroner accused of stealing prescription medication has been charged.

Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin says 52-year-old Michael Head is charged with second-degree theft of property and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Head was arrested Tuesday after authorities searched his home in Gadsden.

Alabama is looking at a heat advisory this afternoon and more summer time weather could be on the way. A-P-R student reporter Keith Huffman has more…

The temperature will be in the mid- to-upper-90s today.

However, when you combine the heat with the humidity, it can feel as hot as 109 degrees in the shade for the rest of the day.  A similar heat index may stretch until Sunday, and those who are most susceptible to the heat need to take precautions.

John De Block is with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He says there are many people who are at risk…

“That may be the elderly, it might be, young children, infants, kids that are outside. Even people with um, uh, respiratory issues such as, uh, asthma. They get affected by the heat as well. So if you have, uh, a friend or family member that already has compromised health, make sure that they’re taking care of themselves.”

De Block also said the temperature will slowly subside during the evening, however significant relief will not be felt until after sunset.