By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A Brewton man who has spent nearly 12 years behind bars was granted parole during recent hearings by the Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles.
Joseph Powell III was ordered released from Mobile Work Release Center after having served 8-1/2 years in state prison and more than three years (1,212 days) in the county jail prior to his transfer to state custody.
Powell was arrested in 2010 by Brewton police on charges of first-degree possession of marijuana, drug trafficking, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was convicted on the marijuana charge in 2010 and sentenced to serve 20 years.
Two other state inmates with local ties, each of whom has spent more than a decade behind bars and has been charged with additional crimes while inside local corrections facilities, were each denied parole.
The board turned thumbs down on early release for Terran Dudley, who was convicted of murder in Lowndes County in 2009, and for William Christoph Sellers, who was sentenced in 1998 and 1999 to a total of 110 years after being convicted of numerous burglary charges in Houston County.
Dudley, 35, has served slightly more than half (15 years, 9 months) of a 30-year sentence for the murder. He also drew an additional 10 years when he was convicted in 2010 of trying to smuggle contraband into Holman Correctional Facility.
Sellers, who initially was ordered to spend only 25 years in jail since his other burglary convictions run concurrently, has been behind bars for all but a few days of 23 years. His sentence was extended by 15 years when he was convicted here in 1999 of third-degree escape for a breakout attempt while he was housed at Fountain Correctional Facility.
Dudley’s minimum release date, without pardon or parole, is April 16, 2035. For Sellers, that date is March 1, 2023. Each is housed at Bibb County Correctional Facility, and neither has earned any “good time” during his respective incarceration.