Local man only person to be charged in beating death at Tavern
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore police said a local man, still behind bars without bond as midweek approached, is the only person who will be charged in connection with the August 5 beating death of a Baldwin County man who struck and killed a local woman with his car as she crossed U.S. 31 just before midnight.
Patrol officers and investigators stopped a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Kendrell Monta Madison around 5:40 a.m. on September 22 and took him into custody without incident on a charge of murder. Madison is reportedly an uncle of Hannah Annette Martin, 24, who died as a result of being hit by the vehicle.
“Madison is the only one that assaulted him,” said Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann. “No one else is facing any charges.”
Initial reports were that Kenneth Elbert Harrison was attacked by a mob of bystanders after his 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe hit and knocked Martin into the parking lot of The Tavern of Atmore, a local bar.
McMann said the extent of Harrison’s injuries made it appear to officers that several people might have assaulted him.
“The responding officers discovered Harrison laying [sic] on his stomach in the parking lot of the Tavern, unconscious,” the police sergeant said. “When the officers rolled him over, they discovered that Harrison had severe injuries to his face that disfigured his facial features. Due to his extensive injuries the officers thought at the time that Harrison may have been assaulted by one or more people.”
First, though, police administered CPR to Martin, who was severely injured but alive and lying near the highway. She was rushed by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital’s emergency room but reportedly passed away shortly after arrival.
The officers then rendered aid to Harrison, who was taken by ambulance to the local hospital, from where he was later flown by medical evacuation helicopter to a Mobile trauma center with a brain bleed. He survived four days on a ventilator before passing away August 9.
Kati Riley, Harrison’s fiancé and his passenger on the fateful night, posted on the Atmore News Facebook page that the fatal vehicle-pedestrian collision was unavoidable.
“We couldn’t see due to cars on both sides of the road hindering our vision with their headlights facing us,” she wrote. “There were others illegally crossing the road which we swerved to miss, and there she was. It was an unavoidable accident.”
Police investigators interviewed several potential witnesses and reviewed videos that included audio recordings. The assault occurred out of the field of view of the bar’s closest positioned security camera, police said, making the audio recordings a valuable part of the investigation.
APD detectives developed Madison as a person of interest early in the investigation and continued to look for witnesses while they awaited the results of search warrants. That was the major cause of the delay in making an arrest, McMann said.