Hearing To Determine Death Penalty Eligibility For Georgiana Man


By Catalina Trivino

Shawn McClain is charged with murdering his neighbor, Dorothy Leatherwood.

His attorneys say he was mentally ill the night Leatherwood was killed and they hope to prove it at a hearing this week to determine whether McClain is mentally competent to stand trial and be eligible for the death penalty if he's convicted.


Will Shawn McClain be eligible for the death penalty if he's convicted? It's a question a judge could answer later this week.

The District Attorney's office and some family members of 72-year-old, Dorothy Leatherwood, want to see him executed.

"Just go ahead and take him out and be over with it and everybody would be satisfied. Kill him. Let him go," Said the victim's brother, James Rudolph.

"He knows right from wrong and that's the part that gets me. He knew that what he did was wrong when he come in here the way he did," Said the victim's niece, Pam Lewis.

Butler County deputies and Georgiana Police found Leatherwood dead inside her Georgiana home last November. Investigators say McClain was her neighbor and handy-man. He pleaded not guilty in April.

Leatherwood's family still asks why this horrible crime had to happen.

"She was murdered, then you find out the way she was murdered, then you find out who did it because it was that 'who done it' thing and now we know who did it. And now they're trying to say he's trying to do a whole other mental case thing here, so it's challenging for everybody," Said Lewis. 

The D.A.'s office tells Alabama News Network if the judge does not find McClain competent enough to stand trial, they will still be able to seek a sentence of life without parole if he's convicted.

The D.A.'s office also says a mental evaluation of McClain will be presented at the hearing Thursday.

Alabama News Network will keep you updated when the judge makes a decision.