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Driver charged with murder

From Staff Reports/The Demopolis Times

Charges against Willie Thomas Marshall, 48, were upgraded Thursday to murder and vehicular homicide in the case where his car struck four teenagers walking along Martin Luther King Drive in Linden, according to Linden Public Safety Director Jeff Laduron.

One of the victims, 19-year-old Carlton Gray, died late Wednesday/early Thursday from injuries sustained in a July 1 night accident.

Marshall’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was nearly two times the legal limit.

After hitting the teenagers, the suspect kept driving with a shattered windshield and somehow found his way to his niece’s house.

All four victims were taken to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. The injuries to the other victims were said to not be life threatening. They were treated and released, Laduron said.

Gray broke his femur in two places, broke the tibia in his left leg, and he sustained head injuries, according to Linden Police. The impact of Gray’s body shattered the windshield and caused other damage to Marshall’s vehicle, the chief said. Gray was transported by ambulance to DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

Marshall was initially charged with two counts of felony assault, two counts of assault-two, DUI and felony leaving the scene of an accident. He remains in the Marengo County jail. Approximately $5,000 for each new charge was added to the $15,000 bond, Laduron said.

Linden Police will soon begin a campaign to educate young people in Linden about staying out of the city streets and watching for cars. Literature will be given out in Linden schools to take home to parents, Laduron said. "The parents are going to have to help. I can’t babysit the kids….They hang out on the street corners.