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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