Napier tells jury he did it

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2004

LINDEN — As the video taped confession from Jeffery Lavan Napier played to the jury, he couldn’t hold back his own emotions as he opened his hands and rested his face in his palms, sobbing silently. This was the recurring theme for Tuesday’s ‘mini-trial’ of Napier’s murder case.

Napier had to face the Marengo County Court system again and this time with a jury of his peers Tuesday in Linden. On April 2, 2004, Napier stood in front of family members whose lives he admitted to destroying and entered a plea of guilty on six counts of Capital Murder for the deaths of Ida and Mikayla Little.

District Attorney Greg Griggers stood in front of the jury and said Napier has already entered a guilty plea to the six counts of Capital Murder, but the State must prove to a jury that he is guilty of the crimes that he pleaded to.

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Griggers also said the State planned to show the jury pictures from the crime scene on April 21, 2003, that show Ida and Mikayla Little lying in the hall way with gun shot wounds to the head.

“Ida was shot in the right temple above the eye and she also had an injury to her stomach, while Mikayla was shot in the left cheek of her face,” Griggers said.

Napier’s attorneys Walter Griese and Mary Turner took there turn in front of the jury and said, “Your not going to see the legal bulldog that I usually am today because my client has already entered a guilty plea and he is greatly remorseful, but he did the crime and he is ready to face his time.”

Griggers called Deputy Chief Tommie Reese of the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department to the witness stand to testify. Reese said during his testimony, when he entered the Little’s residence he saw Ida and Mikayla lying in the hallway with Mikayla on top of her grandmother.

“There were foot prints from the phone junction box were the cord had been ripped out and the front door of the trailer had been kicked in,” said Reese.

He said he knew that it wasn’t a burglary because there was an opened purse on the couch with money in it. He also said other two children in the trailer besides Mikayla were harmed, but not killed.

“Jevon Little was choked by Napier during the event, but he helped in the investigation against Napier,” Reese said.

After Reese finished testifying, Griggers showed the video taped confession to the jury. Napier sat there while the tape played and he showed his emotions during the section when he described killing Ida and Mikayla. On the taped confession, Napier said, “The little girl got up and ran to her grandmother and I shot the little girl.”

Griggers said the maximum that Napier could receive as part of the plea was life in prison without parole.

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.