Strong, fast moving storms that moved across the state on Monday plunged thousands in the dark and also pounded the state with hail as large as quarters. The National Weather Service said the the strongest of the storms had wind gusts nearing 75 miles per hour. Dozens of communities from west to north Alabama are reporting moderate to severe storm damage. There were no report of injuries. Alabama Power said some 200,000 customers lost electricity at the height of the storm.
Millbrook Teen Killed
Police in Millbrook say a 17-year-old girl died Sunday night when her vehicle exploded into flames on Highway 14. Authorities identified the victim as Ashley Smith of Millbrook. Police believe the car she was driving left the roadway just east of Kinsley Lane and struck several trees.
A federal appeals court will hear arguments as former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy appeals a lower court decision denying his request for a new trial of his 2006 conviction in a government corruption case. Former Governor Don Siegelman was also found guilty in that case and is serving a sentence in a federal prison in Louisiana. Scrushy is out of prison and living in Houston. The hearing for Scrushy is scheduled today at the Montgomery federal courthouse.
Alabama prison officials say two men sentenced to die for five killings in a Birmingham bar have now died in prison. Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett says 55-year-old Andrew Apicella died Monday afternoon at Donaldson Prison in Jefferson County. Co-defendant Stephen Pilley died in February 2009. He was 53. The two men were sentenced to death for the 1994 execution-style slaying of five people at the Changing Times Lounge in Birmingham. The five victims were shot in the head.