Murder indictment expected from grand jury
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Joseph Allen Weese’s current situation is a perfect example of how one relatively minor crime can quickly snowball into an affair with major consequences and ramifications.
The 33-year-old Atmore man, who went from shoplifting suspect to vehicular assailant in a matter of one day, now awaits a county grand jury’s determination whether or not he will also become a murder defendant.
Weese, being “loosely pursued” by police on December 23, ran through the red light at the intersection of Main and Church streets, colliding with a Ford Ranger driven by 62-year-old Andy Moye of Flomaton. Moye’s wife, Donna Moye, was in the truck with him.
Andy Moye succumbed December 30 to injuries he suffered when the Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Weese plowed into his pickup. Weese tried to run from the scene but was quickly captured and initially booked into the Escambia County Detention Center on two counts of first-degree assault.
He now faces a more serious charge.
“The case will be presented to the grand jury with a request to upgrade the assault charge to murder,” Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said. “Our investigation (into the fatal crash) is closed.”
The violent collision evolved from an apparent shoplifting incident at Atmore’s Walmart.
Police were notified December 22 by store officials that Weese had committed a “retail theft” at the store. He left before police arrived, but returned the next day, prompting a second police response.
Reports show that when APD officers got behind Weese’s vehicle on North Main and activated their blue lights, he sped away toward downtown. The officers pursued the fleeing Chevy, but Brooks said Weese “fled so dangerously that officers terminated pursuit when they got into town.”
Weese continued south on Main Street, reportedly at a “high rate of speed” until slamming into the Moyes’ vehicle, which was headed east on Church.
Both Moyes were critically injured and were flown by medical evacuation helicopter to an area trauma center. Donna Moye reportedly remained hospitalized earlier this week but is improving.
Weese remained in the county jail, without bond, as midweek approached.