Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arrest Is Made in Murder of Former Riley Aide

Zoa White

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in the murder of Zoa White, a former aide to Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

Carlos Edward Kennedy was arrested late last night and charged with murder. White, 69, was found dead in her midtown Mobile home on June 28. Police said White died from blunt-force trauma to the head, and there were signs of burglary at the home, but had released few other details.

The White murder case had political overtones from several angles. Here is how we described it in an earlier post:

White had worked on Riley's 2006 re-election campaign and served as director of special projects for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

Bill Johnson, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2010 Republican primary for governor, served as director of ADECA under Riley. It's unclear if Johnson and White worked for ADECA at the same time.

Johnson, however, has become one his former boss' harshest critics, raising questions about campaign funds Riley allegedly received from Mississippi gaming interests, funneled through disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In fact, Johnson has said that a federal investigation into gambling-related activity in the Alabama Legislature should focus on Riley and other anti-gaming forces, not just pro-gaming Democrats.

Johnson also has filed a complaint with Alabama Attorney General Troy King, alleging numerous conflicts of interests involving the governor and members of his family.

Johnson received death threats after revealing campaign-funding irregularities regarding Riley. Johnson was so close to White and her family that he helped inform friends about funeral arrangements.

Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson led the investigation on White's murder. Tyson also serves as commander of Riley's anti-gambling task force.


Here is the latest from WKRG in Mobile:

Charges Upgraded In Zoa White Murder

Update No. 2:

According to Local 15 News in Mobile, investigators say White was beaten to death with a hammer:

The 69-year-old retired realtor was found dead in her home on Silverwood Drive in Midtown Mobile earlier this Summer. According to investigators, White was beaten death with a hammer. Blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.

Detectives say the investigation is ongoing and if anyone has any information, please call the Mobile Police Department at 215-208-7211.

1 comment:

Robby Scott Hill said...

Zoa White could have been a key witness in any RICO or False Claims action brought by my mother or several other people who were wrongfully arrested by the ABC Board in September 2003 so they could qualify for a federal grant that was administered by ADECA. Ms. White was involved in awarding that ill gotten money to the ABC Board & she took any secrets she knew to the grave.