MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Mother’s Day was one to remember for mom of eight, Mary Blevins, but not in the way she had hoped.
Her third oldest child, Jacquell Graham, was shot and killed inside Lotus Gentlemen’s Club on Wilson Avenue in Prichard on that early morning. Two others were also shot but they survived.
Blevins says the actions, or lack thereof, from Prichard city leaders, the owner of Lotus Gentlemen’s Club and the club’s realtor led to her son’s death and now she wants to hold them accountable.
Blevins believes this could’ve been prevented and wants to know how and why people were able to make it past security and into the club with guns.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Blevins announced she has filed a wrongful death suit on counts of negligence against Lotus Gentlemen’s Club owner, Eddrick Williams, the owners of Raymond J. Zoghby Real Estate Company, Raymond and Rosalie Zoghby, and the City of Prichard for failing to enforce security measures.
Blevins’ attorney called the club a “drug-related nuisance” and claims people bribe bouncers with cocaine to get into the club without being checked by security.
He also said Graham was shot at this same strip club a week earlier. A Prichard spokesperson said in a press release the day after Graham was pronounced dead that he was “one of their known assailants in the area.”
Graham’s brother, Marquis Blevins, told News 5 in a previous interview that he believes the shooting could’ve been a revenge killing.
However, the lawsuit includes prior criminal activity at Lotus Gentlemen’s Club and other nightclubs in Prichard dating back to 2014.
“Despite the violence at Lotus Nightclub, the city stood idly by and chose not to use its legal power to shut down the club and prevent future crime, injuries and death,” said attorney with Lento Law Group, Joseph Cannizzo Jr. “Given the history there it’s undoubted that the owners of the nightclub knew about the criminal activity and that it was foreseeable.”
Cannizzo says Blevins is seeking monetary compensation but the amount hasn’t been determined.
Blevins told us Graham leaves behind a daughter. She says his loss has been devastating on the entire family.
“I don’t want any, I mean any other mother to bare the pain and heartbreak I feel from losing a son that I love with all my heart,” Blevins said crying. “His smile is what I’m going to miss the most.”
One suspect, Harold Lee Miller, is charged with murder and two counts of assault in connection to Graham’s death. Police are still looking for two others for questioning.
News 5 reached out to both the City of Prichard and the owner of Lotus Gentlemen’s Club for comment, but we did not get a response.