MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — News 5 investigates how a man convicted of murder, served only three years in prison. Reginald Blevins was on probation when he allegedly shot a gas station clerk in Mobile last Friday.
“How many other families have to hurt and grieve and go through this,” said Kelly Poole, sister of Joey O’Brien.
Poole and her family are hurting again, after the man convicted of killing her brother, Joey O’Brien, is back behind bars.
“It’s very sad that our society is like this where we have these repeat violent offenders that are being released. And having the opportunity to continually commit these crimes. This would be the third time that he shot somebody,” Poole said.
This comes two months after Blevins served just three years for the murder.
“We felt like he would probably commit another crime because he has already done it so many times. Our prayer all along was that he would not hurt anybody else and that another family would not have to suffer the loss of a family member,” Poole said.
O’Brien was killed in 2013, he was found shot to death outside of the Post Office on Springhill Avenue. Witnesses say he was riding his bicycle when he was shot.
Blevins was arrested three years later, in 2016, in connection with his murder.
“In the case that involved the murder, was a very difficult case. We make decisions based on the law and based on the facts,” said Deborah Tillman, the Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office.
Blevins is now accused of shooting a gas station clerk. And is awaiting trial, behind bars. “He’s not going anywhere,” Tillman said.
Police say Blevins was trying to steal a pack of beer when he allegedly shot the clerk. The clerk is expected to be OK.
This is something District Attorney, Ashley Rich has spoken about many times. “This DA has spoken many many times about the revolving door and about the need for truth in sentencing and about her opposition to the sentencing guidelines that we’re restricted by,” said Tillman. She continued, “there will be no more revolving door for him, the door will be slammed shut if we are able to convict him.”
The DA’s office will seek life in prison for Blevins in this current case, citing him being a habitual offender.
“We need to keep the most dangerous locked up in prison, so it is extremely frustrating. I can say based on this new case, this individual has enough felonies so if we are able to convict him of the robbery and assault, then he will be looking at life without the possibility of parole,” Tillman said.
Blevins was just released from serving the murder sentence in prison in November 2019. In December, he was arrested on drug charges. The DA’s office filed a motion to revoke his bond because of that arrest a day before the shooting happened.
“We had hoped, he goes back to prison, he comes out and nothing else would happen,” Tillman said.
Blevins was given the shortened sentence after entering a guilty plea.
Poole says this case is just a sign that something needs to be done. She’s not sure if it can be done at the local level.
“We have got to stop letting violent criminals back on the street to continue to commit violent crimes. It has to stop,” Poole said.
Blevins will be in court for a bond hearing Wednesday. Even if the judge sets a bond, he is under a probation hold, meaning he can’t get out until a judge hears the motion for his probation revocation.
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