Two trials went to pleas in the Jackson County Circuit Court last week. The first case, tried by Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Krystina Jackson, was in regards to Paul Ray Lee (pictured on left) who was arrested in June of 2021 after an indictment from Grand Jury. Lee was indicted on Rape 1st Degree, Sodomy 1st Degree, Sexual Abuse 1st Degree, Sexual Abuse of a Child Under 12, Enticing a Child and Incest.
The victim was Lee’s youngest daughter, who stated that beginning when she was eight years old, Lee began to Rape, Sodomize and Sexually Abuse her and continued to abuse her in these ways until she was 11 years old.
The trial for Lee was set to begin on Monday, February 13, 2023, but Lee went before the presiding judge, the Hon. Judge Brent Benson, and entered a plea of guilty to the charges of Rape and Sodomy, both of which are Class A felonies. He was given a 20-year sentence in the Alabama Department of Corrections and has been ordered to serve five years of that sentence in prison. Upon his release, Paul Ray Lee of Pisgah will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
Jackson stated, “This was a difficult decision for all three of Mr. Lee’s children, but I hope seeing justice served and Mr. Lee admitting guilt brings them peace moving forward.”
The second case was in regards to Jeremiah Adam Nix, who was on trial for the 2019 shooting death of his longtime partner, Candus Bowes. It was tried by Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce and Assistant District Attorney Meteasa L. Collins-Henderson. Brian White acted as Defense, and Deborah Dunsmore acted as co-counsel.
On September 14, 2019, three 911 calls were made in regards to this emergency. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, the body cam footage showed a woman lying on the front porch of a residence. Inside the residence, there was blood splatter on the floor of the living room just inside of the storm door and main door that were also splattered with blood. A gun and spent shell casing were also on the floor next to the blood. It was later discovered by the coroner that the victim, Candus Bowes, had been shot through the side of her right rib cage, along the side of her right breast, and that the bullet traveled through her body and out the other side of her rib cage and left breast, where it came to rest against the strap of her bra.
Nix stated there had been a mild argument between himself and Bowes when he returned from four-wheeler riding with another woman and a friend, but that it had not escalated. He stated he went into the master bedroom to play xbox, and that’s when he heard a gunshot. Upon exiting the bedroom, he saw Bowes stand from the couch, gasp and then cough up blood. Nix stated Bowes then exited the house and went outside to rest on the porch. Nix’s and Bowes’ eldest daughter came from her bedroom to see what was going on and was present during life-saving measures. This is when the 911 calls were placed shortly before Bowes stopped breathing, during which, the eldest daughter can be heard relaying information and counting CPR compressions.
The trial was on its third morning when Nix did not show up to court. After he was brought back to court by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Nix was in conference with his attorneys. Afterwards, Nix stated in court he wanted to plead guilty to the charge of murder.
White stated, “Jeremiah decided to plead guilty because he wanted to take responsibility, and he didn’t want his daughter to have to testify. He loves his daughter.”
After repeated reviews of Nix’s request by the presiding Hon. Judge John H. Graham, Nix stated he understood and still wanted to proceed with a plea of guilty, thereby bringing an end to the trial by jury.
Pierce stated, “On behalf of the family of Candus Bowes, and particularly her two young daughters, we are grateful that Mr. Nix decided to enter the guilty plea to the charge of murder. We wish to thank Deputy Danny Miller and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Hollywood Police Department and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for their efforts in this case and helping to secure justice for Candus. We also wish to thank the jurors who were selected and served this week, as this resolution does not happen without them.”
Nix will be sentenced on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. by Judge Graham. Until that time, he is being held in the custody of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.