Help needed in murder case

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 12, 2004

Law enforcement in Perry County thought they had the whole thing wrapped up. They had a suspect, they had a witness, and they almost had an indictment. Now they have nothing and need help.

Almost four years ago, Ben Ivey was gunned down in his Marion stop-and-shop store in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, 2000.

At his store, Ivey offered customers a credit service, making loans and charging back interest.

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Ed Greene, district attorney for the district covering Perry County, and members of local law enforcement thought they had a pretty good lead on the case.

That investigation got a boost when investigators found a witness who agreed to testify against the suspect.

With solid evidence and the testimony of an eye witness, Greene headed to court to get an indictment on that suspect.

Since then, local and state law enforcement officials have continued to search for evidence that would lead to an arrest and ultimate conviction in the homicide of Ivey.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation, along with the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Marion Police Department and DA’s office "have been deeply involved in the investigation of this crime," according to a statement from Greene.

And now, Gov. Bob Riley has gotten involved. This week, Riley signed a proclamation authorizing a reward of $5,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered Ivey.

Because of that, Riley cited the Code of Alabama, which allows him to offer a reward of $5,000 for an arrest in the case.

According to Greene, a reward is offered "when you have exhausted all your investigative tools."

Anyone with information on the shooting death of Ivey is asked to contact one of the following law enforcement agencies:

Sheriff James Hood, Perry County &045;&045; (334) 683-6534

Chief Tony Buford, Marion &045;&045; (334) 683-9071

Agent Johnny Tubbs, ABI &045;&045; (334) 418-8852

DA’s office, Dallas County &045;&045; (334) 874-2549

DA’s office, Perry County &045;&045; (334) 683-9061