Greene County Sheriff’s Department solves murder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

After two years and three months the Greene County Sheriff’s Department believes they have solved the murder of Otis Pham. After many months, days and hours of police work, interviews and research netted the first of two arrests in the case on April 27.

Greene County Sheriff Johnny Isaac said suspect Patrick Davis was picked up last week and charged.

“After two years and three months we have made an arrest,” Isaac said. “We got the warrants together last week and arrested Patrick Davis.”

Davis, 29, of Aliceville was picked up in Baldwin County last week where he was working construction, however, he will not be the only arrest made in the case. Greene County authorities expected to have Keith Lamonte Thomas, 34, also of Aliceville in custody by this morning.

Isaac said the investigation was a long process that saw many miles traveled, but in the end the hard work yielded results.

“After investigating and interviewing in two other states besides Alabama we finally got the information we needed and were able to make the arrest,” Isaac said.

Pham, who was 77 at the time of his death, was killed on Jan. 31 of 2003 when the two men apparently pretended to have car trouble and came to his residence. Pham agreed to let them have water and the two forced their way inside, robbed Pham and ended his life. He was discovered by one of his grandsons around 11 p.m. that night.

Taken from the scene were $80 and a small caliber revolver pistol.

Isaac said the money the men took from Pham was on his person.

“He had just done some business that day,” Isaac said. “His daughter had done some business for him and left him with that amount of money.”

Davis was a cousin to Pham, however, he claims he did not know him.

Isaac said through their investigation they felt they had sufficient evidence against the pair. However, the search for the weapon continues.

“We interviewed and interrogated them to the point that we feel we have gathered enough information to tie them to the case,” Isaac said. “We have not recovered the weapon. We are still in the process of trying to do that.”

Authorities believe only one of the two did the shooting and have not ruled out Pham’s own weapon as being used.

Because the shooting occurred during hunting season Isaac said there were people in the area who were able to provide useful information.

“One of the things that helped us out a lot was we had some people that had some information,” Isaac said. “That is why I went to Mississippi and Louisiana. There were some people that leased some land near there for hunting that said they had seen a tan vehicle there.”

The arrests brought relied to the department and the family of Pham. Isaac said they felt good to be getting close to closure in the case.

“We are more than relieved to get this crime solved because it has been such a long time,” Isaac said. “We know the family is relieved too.”

Both are expected to be charged with capital murder and if convicted, could face death. Isaac said no other arrests are expected, but the investigation will continue. The Alabama Bereau of Investigations with assist with the investigation of the crime in which drugs are expected to be a heavy factor.