A truck driver at the Pelham, Ala., branch of Ferguson Enterprises, accused of killing three men, pleaded innocent by reason of mental disease or defect at his arraignment Aug. 17.
Alan Eugene Miller was indicted by a Shelby County grand jury Aug. 13 on one count of capital murder for the Aug. 5 shooting deaths of driver Lee Holdbrooks and dispatcher Christopher Scott Yancy at Ferguson. Former co-worker Terry Jarvis was later shot at a gas company where the suspect used to work. Defense lawyer Rodger Bass said that Miller is "confused and does not understand the nature of the charges."
The judge ordered a psychiatric examination for Miller within 90 days.
Miller was originally charged with three counts of capital murder but was only indicted on one charge because the three victims were killed in a single course of action, said Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens. Miller is being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond.
Penalties for capital murder are death or life in prison without parole. Owens said he would seek the death penalty.
Chad Ingram, a friend of Holdbrooks, reportedly said that Miller was angry because he felt Holdbrooks was getting better delivery routes. Other reports suggested that Miller complained about rumors being spread about him. Authorities believe that the murders were purposeful rather than random because two other workers at the two businesses were unharmed. Miller was laid off from Post Airgas earlier this year.
The Birmingham News reported that Miller's court-appointed attorneys have 14 days to file any other special pleadings or motions. They are expected to ask for extraordinary expenses to cover a private psychiatric exam, a change-of-venue analysis and an independent investigator.