MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Joseph Ryan Carter, 35, for the murder of Joe Nathan Thomas along I-65 in 2016. Carter was convicted in Mobile County Circuit Court on June 18, 2020.
On Nov. 10, 2016, Carter, along with Thomas and one other person, planned a trip to a casino in Biloxi, Miss. Investigators say at some point, Carter became agitated and upset when the trio stopped at a gas station, and he pulled out a gun. After Thomas urged Carter to calm down, Carter put the gun away and the trip continued.
Later, Carter stopped the vehicle on I-65 between Creola and Stockton to allow his passengers to go to the bathroom. The surviving passenger, who was at the other end of the parked truck, testified she heard a gunshot and saw that the victim was on the ground. The passenger heard several more shots as she fled the scene.
Carter contended the shooting was self-defense, however, Thomas was found to be shot in the back of the head.
Carter was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment, and he sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Carter’s conviction on Friday, Aug. 27.