|Calvin McCall Haynes|
A suspect in the murder of Talladega attorney Blake Lazenby said Lazenby's wife offered $40,000 to have her husband killed.
Calvin McCall Haynes said he did not want to take part in the murder plot, but he provided the name of another suspect, Ocie Lee Lynch. Haynes said Earnest James Files Jr. arranged the killing on behalf of Geanne Lazenby--and Lynch and Charles Andrew Joseph Hendrix carried it out by shooting and stabbing Blake Lazenby in his Sylacauga home.
Haynes made the statements during an interview at the Birmingham Police Department in January. The statements were presented Tuesday at a preliminary hearing and reported in yesterday's edition of The Talladega Daily Home.
Blake and Geanne Lazenby were in the midst of a contentious divorce at the time of the murder last July. Four men--Files, Hendrix, Haynes, and Lynch--have been arrested in the case. Haynes said he was not present during the murder, but a man identified only as Jeremy drove Lynch and Hendrix to Blake Lazenby's house.
Geanne Lazenby has not been arrested, but the Daily Home reports:
Solicitation of and conspiracy to commit murder are Class A felonies in Alabama, punishable upon conviction by 10 to 99 years or life in prison. Conviction for capital murder carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.
According to Haynes' statement to police, Files served as middle man in the murder plot. Reports the Daily Home:
Haynes said Earnest James Files Jr., who has been charged with the same two counts in the case, approached him roughly two years ago about murdering the husband of the woman he was dating.
“The first ever, ever time, I told him I didn’t want no part of it,” Haynes stated in the recording. “He came back in another year, last year. He was with the girl he was with and two children in a white Chevrolet Silverado. There was a white woman in the front and two kids in the back. (Files) was like, “She wants to talk to you about killing her husband.” She asked me to come around to her side, and I did. She was like, ‘I have all the money right here. I just want the job done.’”
Haynes said the woman showed him a bag full of money, but he did not count it.
“It was a lot of money,” he said. “Then she was like, ‘I want my husband dead.’ I said I didn’t want no part of it, but I said, ‘Well, Ocie (Lynch) might do something like that.’”
The plan picked up steam, according to Haynes, when Lynch became involved:
Haynes said he then contacted Ocie Lee Lynch, 30, of Birmingham, who is charged in this case with two counts of capital murder committed during a burglary in the first degree.
“I go to Ocie,” Haynes said. “I was like, ‘Well, the lady said she got 40 G’s, and she want her husband killed. Are you down with it?’ And he was like, ‘I’m down with it.’”
He said Files gave Lynch $2,000 of his own money when he agreed to carry out the murder. Haynes said he was not at Lazenby’s house the night of the murder, nor did he ever visit the house.
“(Files) wrote down the address and told Ocie how to get there,” Haynes said. “When he wrote down the address, Ocie was like, ‘I got it. You ain’t got nothing to worry about.’”
Haynes account is curious because it does not seem to fit with what we have reported earlier about the relationship between Geanne Lazenby and Earnest Files. From a post dated February 22, 2012:
According to documents obtained through the Coosa County Sheriff’s Department, Geanne Lazenby, who was living in Alexander City, filed a harassing communications and criminal trespass complaint against Files on March 28, 2011. According to her complaint, Files called her cell phone more than 100 times in less than a week, including once while a deputy was taking her statement. She said she had repeatedly told him not to call her, and added that he had visited her home on two occasions in spite of being told not to come by, either.
Haynes has Geanne Lazenby and Earnest Files acting as accomplices in a murder plot. Public records show Geanne Lazenby filing a criminal complaint against Earnest Files in an effort to keep him away from her.
Can those two accounts be reconciled? Perhaps we will find out soon. More preliminary hearings are scheduled for April 10.