Few things in life are more amusing than a good dumb-criminal story. One of my recent favorites involves a burglar who left his cell phone at the scene of the crime. Needless to say, cops had an easy time tracking him down.
That guy didn't have anything on a Birmingham lawyer named Allan L. Armstrong. Our legal hero's first mistake was cheating with the wife of another man--a man who, according to court documents, is a rather large individual, at 6-5, 250 pounds.
But then Armstrong decided it would be a good idea to threaten the big man--and he did it . . . by leaving death threats on the man's answering machine. That constitutes the crime of harassing communications under Alabama law, and let's just say the evidence against Armstrong was overwhelming.
The recipient of the threat, Johnny J. "Jeff" Scruggs, did not press criminal charges because he figured the information would be put to best use in his divorce case.
And that is where Armstrong's actions are on glorious display, in a case styled Johnny Jefferson Scruggs III v. Michelle Ann Scruggs in Jefferson County Domestic Relations Court. In an affidavit dated March 28, 2008 (see below), Scruggs states as follows:
My Wife's paramour, Alan (sic) Armstrong has threatened to perpetuate acts of violence against me
On March 8, 2008, Mr. Armstrong left three messages on my cell phone wherein he threatened to kill me and said that was what my wife wanted.
I am in fear for my safety and that of the minor children's. Mr. Armstrong does not seem to be able to control his anger and I am afraid he may cause harm to me and the minor children and that he will cause damage to my property. I am fearful for my safety and that of the minor children's safety and believe Court intervention is warranted.
Don't you love that? Armstrong didn't just leave one threatening message on Scruggs' voice mail; he left three of them.
Scruggs also filed a Motion for Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order (see below), which states, in part:
On March 6, 2008, the Defendant's paramour, Allan Armstrong, left three messages on the Plaintiff's cell phone wherein he threatened to kill the Plaintiff and said that that was what the Defendant wanted. A police incident report was made and the tape recordings were turned over to the Vestavia Police Department.
The Plaintiff is concerned that without a restraining order restraining both Defendant and her paramour, Allan Armstrong, that both the Plaintiff and the two minor children will be harmed.
What happened next? We will let you know when this episode of America's Dumbest Criminals (and Lawyers) continues in an upcoming post.
Armstrong Scruggs Affidavit
Armstrong--Motion for Restraining Order