Mother of nightclub murder victim sues the city of Prichard, club owner

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 11:46 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -The mother of a man shot and killed at a Prichard nightclub on Mother’s Day wants more people held accountable for her son’s death.

Mary Blevins filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of Lotus Gentlemen’s Club, the people who own the building and the city of Prichard. The suit claimed the defendants didn’t provide a safe environment.

Jacquell Graham was shot and killed there in the early morning hours of Mother’s Day.

“I don’t want any, I mean any other mother to feel the pain and heartbreak I feel from losing a son I love with al l my heart,” Blevins said through tears.

So far, Prichard police have arrested Harold Lee Miller and charged him for the murder. He’s being held without bond. Two others police said were involved are still on the run.

During a Thursday news conference, Blevins alongside her attorney, filed a wrongful death lawsuit for her son’s death.

The suit claimed there was a history of violence at the nightclub. It included an Easter 2022 shootout in front of the business where two men shot and killed each other.

The suit even said Graham was shot at the club the week before he was killed there and it went on to say, the club, the owners of the building and the city of Prichard have done nothing to stop what the suit called known criminal activity.

“Yet 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 crimes, injuries and deaths,” said Attorney Joseph Cannizzo.

Cannizzo said witnesses have told him that bouncers are taking bribes and letting people in the club.

Cannizzo said, “We have reason to believe that bouncers were accepting bribes of drugs and money to allow customers in with firearms, which obviously creates a dangerous situation for everyone involved.”

The suit is asking the city to shut the club down and it also seeks monetary compensation.

Blevins said ultimately, she just wants justice.

“Jacquell did not deserve to die. What makes me so angry is that he still could have been prevented,” Blevins said.

The City of Prichard and the owner of the club did not return our request for comment.