|Calvin McCall Haynes|
A second Birmingham man has been arrested in the murder of Talladega lawyer Blake Lazenby. We seem, however, to be no closer to learning why someone wanted to kill Lazenby, who was in the midst of a contentious divorce at the time of his death last July.
Calvin McCall Haynes, 30, has been arrested and charged with one count each of solicitation of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Ocie Lee Lynch, also 30 and from Birmingham, was arrested in connection with the Lazenby case on January 10.
Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens is not saying much about the investigation. Reports the Talladega Daily Home:
Giddens would not go into any further detail Friday afternoon regarding Haynes’ involvement in the case.
Interim Sylacauga Police Chief Chris Carden said “the investigation remains ongoing and is far from finished.”
Another Birmingham resident, Ocie Lee Lynch, 30, was charged earlier this month with Lazenby’s murder. Lynch is currently in the Talladega County Metro Jail, where he is being held without bond on a capital murder charge.
The fact that Lynch allegedly broke into Lazenby’s home provides the aggravating circumstance making it a capital case.
Lazenby was found dead in his home on Stonehill Road in Sylacauga on July 27. He appears to have died from multiple gunshot wounds.
As we have reported in a series of posts, substantial evidence suggests that motivation for murder might have come from a divorce case involving Blake Lazenby and his wife, Geanne Elder Lazenby.
Public documents indicate several complications had caused the Lazenby v. Lazenby divorce case to turn nasty:
* Multiple lawyers for Geanne Lazenby had tried unsuccessfully to get District Judge Jeb Fannin to recuse himself on the grounds that Blake Lazenby and members of his firm had repeatedly practiced before judges in the county. The case almost certainly presented valid grounds for recusal, but Fannin refused to step aside.
* Lawyers from a Birmingham firm arrived late in the case and engaged in what appear to be hardball tactics, seeking medical records on Ms. Lazenby from two locations and documents on a criminal complaint she had filed against a Coosa County man named Earnest James Files. How those documents were relevant to issues in the divorce case remains unclear.
* Lawyers appeared to be trying to strong arm Ms. Lazenby into a settlement agreement against her will.
Our research indicates that Lazenby v. Lazenby was not being handled in a lawful fashion, and Geanne Lazenby and those close to her probably had reason to feel she was being railroaded. Others connected to the case perhaps felt threatened. It appears, unfortunately, that someone reacted by turning to violence.
Blake Lazenby is dead, and two men have been arrested in connection with his murder. Will we learn what drove an apparent conspiracy to kill a prominent Alabama lawyer? That remains to be seen.