Jury Finds Herron Guilty in Tallahassee Bus Stop Murder

By: Julie Montanaro; Andy Alcock; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Julie Montanaro; Andy Alcock; Lanetra Bennett Email

UPDATED 1.26.2012 6:30pm by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man accused of shooting and killing a woman over a $20 piece of crack will now be spending the rest of his life in prison for it.

Alvin Herron was convicted of first degree murder for killing Peggy Anderson.

Alvin Herron waited three hours for a verdict. The jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree for shooting Peggy Anderson at a city bus stop back in May 2010.

The father of four of Anderson's children was in court to hear it.

"I thought about Peggy and I thought about my kids and now they get a sense of justice on it. I feel like justice has been served," Rufus White said after the trial ended.

Anderson was shot repeatedly. Prosecutors contend Herron pulled the trigger when Anderson refused to pay for $20 worth of crack.

"She would pay, not with money or sex, but with her life," prosecutor Mike Bauer said.

Even though there were at least a handful of eyewitnesses to the shooting, defense attorneys say no one could identify Herron as the gunman in the black t-shirt.

"I do believe that the testimony that we've had is inconclusive. It's contradictory," defense attorney David Collins argued in his closing arguments.

The writing may have been on the wall when jurors asked the judge to clarify the difference between first and second degree murder. About 30 minutes later, they decided it was first.

"It's like I'm a father. I'm taking care of them, but no one can take the place of your mother, no one. And I feel like, you know, her life got stole from the kids and stuff and I just feel like, you know, it shouldn't have happened the way it did, you know. Now his life is thrown away. It never should have happened," White said.

The judge sentenced Herron to a mandatory life sentence just minutes after announcing the verdict.
UPDATED 1-26-12 3:28 pm

The jury deliberated for three hours before reaching a verdict. It found Alvin Herron guilty of first degree murder in the bus stop shooting of Peggy Anderson.

Rufus White, who had four children with Anderson, addressed the judge before Herron was sentenced. He said no one could know the impact this has had on their children.

"She wasn't perfect," White told the judge, but "she was a beautiful person."

"He shot her down like a dog," White said, "she deserved better. I feel like he put a value on her life and he doesn't have a right to do that."

The judge then sentenced Herron to life in prison.

UPDATED 1-26-12 2:05 pm

The jury has a question. It has been deliberating for two and a half hours and just notified the bailiff that it has a question.

The jury has asked the judge to better define first and second degree murder and compare and contrast the two.

The judge told the jury that it must review the elements of the crimes as deliniated in the jury instructions and verdict forms.


UPDATE 1-26-12 11:30am

Jury now deliberating in Tallahassee murder trial of Alvin Herron. He's accused of shooting woman at city bus stop over $20 worth of crack.
UPDATED 1.26.2012 11am by Julie Montanaro

Defense attorney David Collins told the jury this case is built on eyewitness testimony that is "inconclusive and contradictory."

Collins says no one has identified Alvin Herron as the shooter.

He also says cell phone records placing Herron in the area do not place him at the scene of the crime. The last call came from Herron's phone at 11:23pm and the shooting was not reported until after midnight.

Collins said there was a second black man at the scene and suggested he may have been the shooter.

UPDATED January 26 9:30am by Julie Montanaro

Attorneys are now making their final arguments to the jury in the murder trial of Alvin Herron.

Prosecutor Mike Bauer contends Peggy Anderson died because she would not pay for a $20 crack rock and Alvin Herron would not walk away.

"She would pay not with money, not with sex, but with her life," Bauer said.

Herron has denied any involvement in Anderson's murder, but Bauer says Herron's own friends put him at the scene and cell phone records put him in the area at the time of the murder.

"It's impossible," Herron told police investigators when they questioned him about Anderson's murder. "I didn't go anywhere with Monica."

The prosecutor claims Herron lied repeatedly in that interview and pointed out Herron changed his cell phone number the morning after Anderson's murder.


UPDATE 1-25-12 6:45pm

He said he didn't do it -- and that's been his story since day one.

Wednesday, jurors heard exactly what Alvin Herron told investigators when he first turned himself in after the murder of Peggy Anderson.

Alvin Herron told the judge that he wanted the jury to hear his words for themselves rather than the investigator paraphrasing on the witness stand.

The court played the video from his initial interview when he was charged with Peggy Anderson's murder back in 2010, and throughout the entire tape, Herron claimed he didn't know anything about it.

Investigator James Besse with the Tallahassee Police Department took the stand Wednesday during Alvin Herron's murder trial.

But, instead of him testifying about the night he interrogated Herron, attorneys played the video.

In the video Herron says, "Oh, she's the one that's dead. Aw, man, that's crazy."

Herron is accused of killing 36-year-old Peggy Anderson on May 18, 2010 at a bus stop near Pensacola and Dupree Streets.

He turned himself in almost three weeks later, in the interview tape, he says, it was only because he'd "heard" his name came up.

The investigator says cell phone records show that Herron was in the area of the murder.

"I was not there; and you talking about taking me to jail for something I didn't do, and talking about a homicide? Then, we need to clear this up. Whatever you talking about. Talking about people talking about me with a gun in my hand. All of that is nonsense, sir."

The medical examiner, Lisa Flannagan, says Anderson was shot three times: A bullet to her back, one to her left buttocks, and one to her left thigh.

"For that wound, most likely, she was on the ground at that point, probably on her right side with her right thigh up, both legs flexed at the hips; somewhat curled up." Says, Dr. Flannagan.

Dr. Lisa Flannagan says Anderson also had an inury to her head near her right eye.

"At first, it looked like it may be a graze gunshot wound where a bullet just grazes the skin. But, looking at it closer, I think it's probably more consistent with her striking her head on something. So, it appears to me that she probably fell and hit her head."

Investigators say Herron shot Anderson because she did not pay for her drugs with money or sex. Herron denies those claims.

The medical examiner testified that cocaine was found in Anderson's system and that she had an alcohol level of .19.

Trial continues Thursday morning.


UPDATE 1-25-2012 1:13pm

The first witness to take the stand after resuming from lunch break is Christopher Corbitt. He is with the technical operations unit with the Tallahassee Police Department. He is testifying that Herron's cell phone was used in the area of where Anderson was killed and around the time she was killed.


UPDATE 1-25-12 11:21 AM

Herron keeps saying in the interrogation video that he has nothing to do with the murder. He denies being in the area even though the investigator says cell phone records and witnesses say he was.


UPDATE 1-25-12 10:53 AM

In the interrogation video, Herron says he only came in to the police department because he heard his name came up in a murder investigation. He said he didn't know anything about it.


UPDATE 1-25-2012 10:29 AM

Defendant Alvin Herron told the judge that he wants the jury to hear what he said the night he turned himself in rather than have TPD Investigator James Besse, who is now on the stand, tell it. The video recording of Herron's June 5, 2010 interrogation is about to be played in court.
UPDATE 1-25-2012 10:08 AM

Investigator Angie Booth with the Tallahassee Police Department testified that she spoke to witnesses after the shooting. The defense attorney stated that Investigator Booth said a homeless man and some college students saw the shooting, but the police didn't have much information.

UPDATE 1-25-2012 9:12 AM

Day two of the murder trial in Peggy Anderson's death is underway. First to the stand this morning is Medical Examiner Lisa Flannagan. She is describing the condition of Anderson's body when it was brought in for autopsy.

Flannagan says, Anderson had 3 gunshot wounds. One was located in the center of her back, one in the left buttock area, and one in the back of her left thigh.

The medical examiner also says Anderson had a bruise on her eye.
UPDATE 1-24-2012 -- by Andy Alcock

Drugs and sex are at the center of a Tallahassee murder trial.

Alvin Herron is accused of fatally shooting Peggy Anderson at a bus stop in May, 2010.

Among the witnesses to take the stand today was a group of college students who witnessed the shooting.

Ryan Moore was out in a jeep with five of his friends on a scavenger hunt.

It was supposed to be a fun night.

But Moore testified he and his friends made a frightening discovery not on their list of things to find.

Moore says, "I saw one of the black males running away, another one raise a gun towards the black female and shoot and after the shot, she fell."

Moore says the vehicle was within 9 feet of the shooting, and he told his friends to duck after more shots rang out.

He testified a black man wearing a black shirt pulled the trigger.

Prosecutor Mike Bauer claims Alvin Herron gave Peggy Anderson crack cocaine.

When she wouldn't pay for it, he wanted sex instead.

When she said no, Bauer says Herron shot and killed her.

Bauer says, "You'll see that it was a sure killing with the defendant firing at her multiple times."

Shawanza Gardner testified she was waiting in a car near the bus stop, when her boyfriend Sam Cosby came running towards her.

She heard a shot, then after a pause, several more shots.

Gardner, also, testified when Herron later came back to the car, Cosby asked him quote "why did you do it".

She says Herron responded "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

Gardner, also, testified Herron was wearing a black shirt the night of the shooting.

But none of the witnesses specifically identified Herron as the shooter...

And his attorney says there are other holes in the case.

David Collins, Herron's attorney, says, 'The evidence will show you the inconclusive description of what the shooter looked like and what he was wearing will not tell you who shot Peggy Anderson."

The trial is expected to wrap up on Thursday.


1.24.2012 Noon -

Testimony is underway in the trial of a Tallahassee man accused of murdering a woman at a bus stop. Alvin Herron was charged with the murder of Peggy Anderson in May of 2010.

A Jeep filled with six local college students out on a scavenger hunt was passing by the bus stop as the shooting took place.

One by one they are being called to the stand to explain what they saw. Prosecutor Mike Bauer contends Herron killed Anderson because she would not trade sex for drugs. This morning, Ryan Moore testified he was within six feet when the shooting took place. He said he saw a black man shoot a woman as she was walking away from him and then the woman fell to the ground.


1.24.2012 9:45am

Alvin Herron's attorney says there are no witnesses who can identify Herron as the shooter, no DNA, and no murder weapon that can tie Herron to the crime.

Defense attorney David Collins says witnesses will testify that there were two black men with Anderson in the moments before the shooting. That one ran away and the other opened fire and then got into a car alone and drove away.

Collins said there is another man with motive to kill Peggy Anderson.

Collins said "there is no certainty" as to who killed Peggy Anderson.


1.24.2012 9:30am by Julie Montanaro

Prosecutor Mike Bauer called it "a sure killing." He told the jury that Alvin Herron shot Peggy Anderson multiple times and even shot her after she was already down on the ground.

Bauer said a jeep with six college students saw the whole thing. One of them, he said, saw Anderson "go limp and fall to the ground." They described the shooter as a black man wearing all black.

Bauer contends Herron killed Anderson because she would not trade sex for drugs.


[UPDATE] January 24, 2012 9:15am by Julie Montanaro

Alvin Keith Herron is now on trial for the May 2010 murder of Peggy Anderson.

Anderson was shot and killed at a city bus stop right across the street from where she lived at the Hope Community.

There are six jurors and two alternates in the jury box in courtroom 3A. Opening statements will begin momentarily.


UPDATED 6.7.2010 5:35pm by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man accused of shooting and killing a woman at a bus stop is denied bond and will remain behind bars until trial.

Arrest papers released today indicate the gunshots came amidst an argument over a $20 crack rock.

Peggy Anderson's classmates at TCC crowd around a lap top to get a look at the man accused of killing her.

"It really makes me happy they're off the street and it makes me feel a lot better that she's getting justice," said classmate Kristina Dendekker.

Anderson was gunned down at a StarMetro bus stop on West Pensacola Street back on May 18th.

Friday, Tallahassee Police arrested 21 year old Alvin Herron, known to his friends as "Lil Keith," and charged him with her murder. Arrest papers say the two were with friends at an apartment nearby and were arguing over a $20 piece of crack when Herron fired three or four shots.

"It was based on that incident that night, over the sharing or the possession of that crack and again, it's just a sad culmination of events and now someone's lost their mother as a result of this violence," said Tallahassee Police Spokesman David McCranie.

One of Herron's friends asked him why he did it and according to arrest papers he answered, "Life is life, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

Anderson's friends and classmates say whether she was involved with drugs or not, she didn't deserve to die like this.

"It's not going to change how I feel about her. She's still going to be one of my friends. I'm still going to remember the person I went to class with," Dendekker said fighting back tears.

"As a college professor and teacher, we deal with potential and people's potential. I don't really see someone's past. I see someone's future and that's what we all saw was someone who had a great future," said professor John Bruno.

A look at Herron's rap sheet shows he's been arrested three times in the past two years for drug possession, carrying a concealed weapon and a traffic citation.

UPDATED 6.7.2010 1:15pm by Julie Montanaro

Alvin Herron appeared before a judge Sunday morning and was ordered held without bond.

Arrest papers released today indicate that Peggy Anderson was shot and killed by Herron, who goes by the name of "Lil' Keith," after friends say they got into an argument over a $20 piece of crack.

One of Herron's friends asked him afterward why he did it and another woman there said Herron replied, "Life is life, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

Arrest papers indicate that Anderson, Herron and two others were at an apartment near the bus stop (2660 W. Pensacola Street) minutes before the shooting.

Another witness says Anderson helped him light his cigarette just moments earlier. He says as he walked away he heard several gunshots and ran to seek cover behind some parked cars. He says he saw a small dark colored vehicle leaving the scene. He then ran to assist Anderson and called 911.

Tallahassee Police arrested 21-year old Alvin Herron late last night - and charged him with first degree murder.

He's linked to the shooting death of 36-year old Peggy Anderson.
She was shot several times on May 18th outside of a Star-metro stop on the corner of Pensacola and Dupree Streets.

Herron is being held without bail at the Leon County Jail.

At this point, Tallahassee police aren't releasing any other details in this case.

We will bring you more information when it becomes available.

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  • by Jury Duty Location: There on Jan 27, 2012 at 03:52 PM
    Just so you all know, this man shot Peggy Anderson. There is no doubt. The right thing was done. The only question was does he deserve 1st or 2nd degree, and it was pretty clear that the Prosecutor presented a 1st deghree murder case. We can move on now.
  • by OJ Didn't Do It!! Location: At The Bus Stop on Jan 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM
    The moral of this story is "Just Say NO To Drugs!!!""""
  • by t bob on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM
    for all you liberal a@@clowns - what is the difference in a small time drug dealer who will be a first time nonviolent offender and a murderer.... $20. ask this girls family or the family of rachel hoffman how they feel about going easy on first time nonviolent offenders. (the guys that killed her would have been labeled as this had they been caught dealing drugs.)
  • by things that go bump on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM
    He shoulda got Jose Baez as his lawyer
  • by Doubt on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM
    This was clearly not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury's were just ready to get out a there
    • reply
      by What? on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM in reply to Doubt
      If the jury wanted to get out of there, they could have easily spent 3 hours deliberating on a not guilty stance. It would have only taken one of them to say, "I think he's not guilty and I'm not changing my mind." Bam, not guilty, and it wouldn't have taken three hours. They ALL concluded he was guilty. They got the right person.
  • by Real bro on Jan 27, 2012 at 07:22 AM
    He killed her over 20 dollars. My point is some people will kill you for a dime.
  • by Natty Bumppo Location: Tally on Jan 27, 2012 at 07:00 AM
    Lesson: Pay for your crack. The local dealer is not in the business of giving free handouts. He does not work for the government.
  • by I dont understand Location: Tally on Jan 27, 2012 at 06:24 AM
    What I dont understand is how he was found guilty. Okay there is a "witness" who says her boyfriend ran to the car then Alvin came after gun shots. How do we know she is not lying for her boyfriend. The students on a scavenger hunt only saw a black man with a black shirt on. Do you know how many black people live in that area. And Baja's is in that area, on a party night there could have been hundreds of black males with cell phones in that area. All I can say to the family is stay prayed up and APPEAL, APPEAL, APPEAL!!!
    • reply
      by I agree on Jan 27, 2012 at 08:08 AM in reply to I dont understand
      APPEAL, APPEAL,APPEAL!!!! Not sure why everyone is making Alvin look so bad. What about Peggy? She was just as involved and a willing participant. When it comes to this type of activity everyone should know what the outcome will be. Do the right thing and your life will have it's ups and downs but through it all life is good! The good always outweigh the bad!
      • reply
        by ridiculous on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM in reply to I agree
        #1 Peggy did not have a gun #2 Peggy did not shoot anyone It's extremely disturbing that you would try to equate the actions of the victim and murderer here, thereby justifying a cold-blooded murder. No wonder certain parts of our community are such a mess!
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM in reply to ridiculous
          Until this moment you or no one else but God can honestly prove that he pulled the trigger. If he did he will truly pay for it. Time will heal all wounds. Time to move on!
    • reply
      by OJ Didn't Do It!!! on Jan 27, 2012 at 01:18 PM in reply to I dont understand
      The moral of the story is "Say NO to drugs"!!!!
  • by As I knew him Location: Tallahassee on Jan 26, 2012 at 07:39 PM
    May God have mercy on Alvin, his family and Peggy's family too. Alvin messed up real bad and Peggy is gone. Life goes on and we must learn to love and forgive our fellow man for making stupid decision that will affect more than just our own lives. God is the only one who can judge our behavior. He (GOD) was there and knows it all. On judgement day it will come up again. So, chill Tallahassee with the offensive comments. We should be posting comments to save our young black men in our community instead of tearing them down. THEY NEED JOBS!!! An idle mind is the devil's playground!!!
    • reply
      by Oh? on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:08 AM in reply to As I knew him
      If what he wanted was a JOB, he would have been at the daily work station, or down at WorkForce, not at the bus stop trying to sell crack. He wanted to sell drugs, not work an honest wage. He wanted to murder her, not provide a better life for his family.
      • reply
        by Susan on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:41 AM in reply to Oh?
        Alvin has been sentenced to prison for life so let's move on. Please allow your hearts to forgive him for whatever wrong he may have done. God has the finally say and it's not over until God says it's over so wishing horrbile things for Alvin may be reversed and come back at you. May your day be filled with many blessings.
        • reply
          by Oh? on Jan 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to Susan
          I don't see anywhere in my comment where I wished him any harm. Only stating the facts here, Susan. Keep your god's blessings away from me. I've seen the carnage your "god" allows.
        • reply
          by As I knew him on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:19 PM in reply to Susan
      • reply
        by As I knew him!!! on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM in reply to Oh?
        As I said!!! Today, the young black men need JOBS...So, flip it and dip it anyway you like. JOBS will eliminate a lot of foolish and deviant behavior...JOBS for ex-cons will decrease crime. Wake up Tallahassee!!!
    • reply
      by Sara on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:09 AM in reply to As I knew him
      We're not responsible for the "young black men" in our community unless we are their family, especially parents (yes, it actually does involve TWO in case some of you have forgotten that). By the time these individuals are young men it is WAY TOO LATE. The ones who are living life like Alvin have NO intention of working at a job. You know it, I know it and anyone with a brain knows it. Yes, it is a harsh reality to accept, but ones like this will never have productive lives. The govt. needs to stop rewarding females to have illegitimate kids - it's ruining our country. Schools are failing, the criminal justice system is overwhelmed and it's getting worse and worse. So please, let's get to the root cause and insist that no one get money for popping out children! IF the money stops, this endless supply of individuals who have no idea what a productive life looks like will start to decrease. It's our only hope.
      • reply
        by As I knew him on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:17 PM in reply to Sara
        Sara, let me keep it real, you are STUPID!!!
    • reply
      by anon on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM in reply to As I knew him
      Alvin said he had to prove he was a man. So Alvin, don't sweat small stuff, And don't pet the sweaty stuff.
      • reply
        by As I knew him on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM in reply to anon
        It's very sad...but, I agree with you. It appears, Alvin's EGO got the best of him or should I say he was thinking with the wrong head.
  • by whatever... on Jan 26, 2012 at 07:25 PM
    Another thug goes to jail. I hope you like your new boyfriend - er I meant cellmate. Next case please....
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