Dec. 18—A robbery attempt at Wheeler Estates Apartments in Decatur left one of the robbers and the victim dead, and resulted in the other robber ending up in jail on a capital murder charge, according to Decatur police.
Demarcus Antoine Travis, 40, of Huntsville, on Friday morning turned himself in to Decatur attorney John Mays, who took him to the Police Department. He was booked into Morgan County Jail at 12:48 p.m. Friday, three days after Decatur police publicly identified him as a suspect and 19 days after the shooting deaths. Travis was being held without bond.
Killed on Nov. 27 at Building E of Wheeler Estates, 134 McEntire Lane S.W., were Codey Ray Schepp, 29, and Quinton Lamon Owens, 42.
According to an affidavit filed in Morgan County District Court on Friday by Decatur police Detective Joshua Daniell, Schepp was the intended robbery victim.
Owens, according to the affidavit, was coordinating with Travis to rob Schepp.
The affidavit does not explain who shot Owens, although as of Friday evening Travis had been charged with capital murder only in connection with Schepp’s death. As of 2020, according to court records involving a traffic citation, Owens resided on Chestnut Grove Drive Southwest in Decatur.
According to the affidavit, Schepp’s girlfriend entered the apartment and discovered the bodies. Police responded to the 911 call at 1:33 p.m. on Nov. 27.
Police found that “items from inside the residence had been moved, tampered with, and stolen,” according to Daniell’s affidavit.
Police found video surveillance from gas stations taken a couple of hours before the 911 call was made that showed Travis and Owens together. Another security video showed Travis inside Owens’ vehicle at 12:25 p.m. Nov. 27, shortly before the shooting deaths, according to the affidavit.
Police also confiscated Schepp’s cellphone and determined that Schepp and Owens had been communicating the day of the shootings, up until 12:40 p.m., and planning to meet.
“They scheduled to meet at (Schepp’s) apartment complex to conduct criminal activity with each other and the male that accompanied Quinton (Owens),” according to the affidavit. “From the messages it was determined that (Owens) was accompanied by someone else they were supposed to meet.”
Murder during the commission of a robbery constitutes capital murder under Alabama law. If convicted, Travis faces a sentence of either death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Travis was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery in 2006, according to court records. The charge arose from his theft of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe and cash in Limestone County on Aug. 26, 2005, according to court records.
In 2012, Madison County authorities charged Travis with attempted murder and first-degree burglary. The court dismissed the charges last year, more than eight years after the alleged incident, when the Madison County District Attorney’s Office reported that it had found no evidence corroborating the statements of a witness for the prosecution. The case had never been submitted to a grand jury.
The Madison County DA’s office attempted to drop the charges without prejudice, which would have allowed them to re-file the charges later. Madison County Circuit Judge Ruth Ann Hall rejected that effort in a March 2021 order, instead dismissing the charges with prejudice due to her determination that the prosecution had violated Travis’ right to a speedy trial.
In 1998, Owens was charged with two separate first-degree robberies within a week of each other. In the first he was charged with the armed robbery of $64 from a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman on Fifth Avenue Southwest in Decatur. In the second, he was charged with an armed robbery of a vehicle in Decatur.
Owens pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Court records indicate he was granted parole in 2015.
— firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.