Napier admits murder

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 5, 2004

LINDEN–Jeffery Lavan Napier stood in front of family members whose lives he admitted to destroying Friday morning. Napier while trying to hold back tears said,

” I know I’m the last person ya’ll want to hear from, but I know what I did was wrong. If there is anything my life or I can be used for by ya’ll. I dedicate my life to you. I’m truly sorry.”

Napier pleaded not guilty to the six counts of Capital Murder in the deaths of Ida and Mikayla Little just eleven days ago. Well yesterday in the Marengo County Courthouse, he changed his plea to guilty on all six counts he faced.

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Griggers said the maximum that Napier could receive as part of the plea was life in prison without parole. Napier was not sentenced because they have to have a ‘mini-trial’ in May in order to have a jury find him guilty of what he pleaded too.

Napier came into the courtroom led by Marengo County sheriff deputy Tommie Reese and his attorney Walter Griess. He turned and faced Judge Eddie Hardaway and he entered his plea of guilty to the charges against him.

Napier plead guilty to two counts of Capital Murder for Considerations, two counts of Capital Murder during Burglary I, one count of Capital Murder of two or more people, and one count of Capital Murder of a child.

Napier told the court reporter “I took the life of Ida and Mikayla Little.” Griggers had Napier sworn in under oath and asked him some questions. “You were hired by someone to kill these people,” Griggers said. Napier replied, “Yes.” Griggers said, “And that someone was Michael Landrum.” Napier again replied, “Yes.”

Griggers said, “You will cooperate with me and testify against Michael Landrum.”

The District Attorney Greg Griggers said that the plea bargain that was struck with Napier will allow him to escape the death penalty as long as he cooperates during the current investigation as well as testifying against Michael Landrum when he case comes up in October.

Napier was first arrested on August 27, 2003 on two counts of Capital Murder. Napier was transferred from the Clarke County jail to the Hale County jail on September 10. While at the Hale County jail, Napier was crying uncontrollably and was suicidal. He already had his note written out, but before that could happen he was placed on suicide watch and transferred on November 7, 2003 to Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Faculty in Tuscaloosa.

Dr. D.M. Perone filed a report on December 24, 2003 that the defendant was suffering from a major mental illness-Major Depression.

“He is not competent to stand trail,” Perone said.

Napier was released from Hardin on February 11, 2004 and placed back at the Hale County jail. Griggers was very happy with the plea agreement.

“Now that we have these guilty pleas, we can push to get the other defendant’s trial pushed up. If we didn’t get this done, the cases would have lasted another year and a half,” Griggers said.