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WVAS Crime Report

Blakely Release

The man once known as Alabama's longest-serving sheriff has been granted parole and is due to be released soon from prison.

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles voted 2-1 Thursday to parole former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

He has been serving a three-year sentence for his 2021 conviction on felony charges of theft and abuse of power.

The convictions followed accusations he borrowed money from a jail safe used to hold inmates’ money and also deposited $4,000 in campaign funds into his personal account.

Al.com reported the board chairperson voted against parole, saying Blakely should finish the court's sentence. Blakely served nearly four decades as a sheriff until his conviction.

Inmates Killed in Crash

A local news agency is reporting a prison transport van crashed Wednesday killing two inmates and injuring five others.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections the single-vehicle crash took place in Dadeville on Elder Road when the inmates were returning to the facility after work.

The inmates include Willie Crayton, Jakes Jones, Bruce Clements, Thomas Bass, Heath Garrett, Shawn Wasden, and Richard Jackson.

ADOC said Crayton died at the scene and Clements died later from his injuries.

Jones was listed in critical condition; others were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Explosive Suspect in Custody

A 26-year-old Irondale, Alabama, man is facing federal charges for allegedly detonating an explosive device outside of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office,” in downtown Montgomery.

Wednesday, Law enforcement arrested Kyle Benjamin Douglas Calvert on charges of malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Court documents show an explosive device was detonated on Feb. 24, 2024 at around 3:42 a.m. outside of the AG’s Office.

There were no reports of injuries or major damage.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department has no tolerance for acts of violence targeting those who serve the public.”

The case was unsealed Wednesday by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Calvert is scheduled for his initial appearance in federal court in Montgomery today at 1:30pm.

If convicted, Calvert could spend up to 20 years in prison with no possibility of parole.

Melanie began her career as a work study student, working in the areas of news reporting, anchoring and news-gathering. After graduating from Alabama State University, she worked as a production assistant at the local NBC affiliate, WSFA-TV. As a News Director at WVAS-FM, Melanie leads her team to produce award- winning newscasts and talk shows. Her professional achievements includes News Reporter of the Year for a number of years and awards for talk show producer, by the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. She is an active member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Her goals are to expand the reach of WVAS FM into more homes locally, regionally and nationally.