Mobile man, woman to be tried as adults for murder in alleged Randlett Drive ambush

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A judge on Wednesday denied “youthful offender” status to two people charged with felony murder in the death of a man on Randlett Drive in 2021.

Selena Grace Tisdale, 21, and Jaravien Allen-White, 19, were younger than 21 at the time of the incident, making them eligible for youthful offender. If granted, their records would have been sealed and their punishment would have been capped at three years, if convicted.

But Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter denied the request in both cases, citing their contacts with the juvenile justice system. For Tisdale, whose previous brush was a disorderly conduct at school, the judge said: “It’s minimal. But it’s not nothing.”

The judge also cited Allen-White’s juvenile record, which includes domestic violence and harassment charges. He suggested he would be open to reconsidering his ruling at a later date.

“Sometimes I can change my mind on this,” he said. “Usually, I don’t.”

Both defendants pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

The judge previously did grant youthful offender status for a co-defendant.

“In all three of these defendants that had the potential for youthful offender, we felt that the circumstances were such that we opposed youthful offender treatment,” Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood told FOX10 News.

The case involves the death of 21-year-old Bradley Nall in January 2021. Nall was asleep in his car outside of his home, where prosecutors allege a group of people went to rob him of drugs. They allege that Eric Ray Gaylord, 30, of Chickasaw, fatally shot him during the encounter. He is charged with intentional murder, while the other five defendants face felony murder charges.

Police contend that Tisdale had a dating relationship with Nall and set up the robbery.

James Vollmer, Tisdale’s court-appointed lawyer, noted his client’s lack of criminal history and pointed out that she has complied with the conditions of bond.

“We think she’s a perfect candidate” for youthful offender, he told the judge.

Foxx urged the judge to look beyond the murder charge.

“The charge, alone, should not be the determining factor,” he said.

Foxx also noted that there is no allegation that his client had a 9mm handgun, the type of weapon used in the killing. He also said his client has no gun violence in his background.

“Those two contacts with the juvenile justice system do not involve shooting a gun,” he said.

Foxx said he respects the judge but disagrees with the ruling.

“We wish they would have considered my client’s application, as it is, as well as his opportunities for rehabilitation, his minimal contact with the justice system to date, and also his current employment, education and community engagement,” he told FOX10 News.

Blackwood said prosecutors look at a variety of factors when deciding whether to oppose youthful offender applications.

“It’s each defendant’s participation, what their role was,” he said. “All of that goes into our determination.”

Gaylord’s trial tentatively is set for next month. Blackwood said he will be the first of the defendants to be tried.

The judge denied a request by prosecutors to order Tisdale to get drug treatment.

“It seems pretty clear there’s something going on here,” Assistant District Attorney Coy Morgan said in court.

Vollmer responded that his client has complied with the conditions of bond but that she has no money to afford treatment.

Asking if she could say something, Tisdale told the judge, “I’m tired. That’s all. I’m exhausted.”

Updated at 10:20 p.m. to change a reference to the defendant Selena Grace Tisdale being a teenager. She was a teenager at the time of the incident.