James Dorriety charged with shooting death of mother-in-law
By By Adam Prestridge
James Morgan Dorriety showed no emotion Monday during a hearing at which he was denied bond for the murder of his mother-in-law, Kathy Lee Allison, who was shot in the Lottie community Sunday afternoon.
Nine members of Allison’s family, including her two daughters, Nadia and April, and her sister, Barbara, comforted each other as they waited for the hearing to begin, which was held via video conference at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette.
Once Dorriety, wearing black-and-white striped jail attire, appeared on the TV screen, each family member present erupted in different types of emotion ranging from grief to rage.
Authorities said Dorriety, 35, gunned down 53-year-old Allison with a hunting rifle following what sheriff’s deputies called “an ongoing domestic dispute.”
Dorriety was with his wife, April Allison Dorriety, and their daughter Sunday afternoon when Allison did something to “agitate him,” said Maj. Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
According to officials, April Dorriety had received a protective order from her husband in April, but the couple reunited a week later. Allison did not approve of her daughter’s relationship, which led to a “verbal altercation” Sunday afternoon, Lowery said. Dorriety then drove his wife and child to her father’s house and ordered them out of the car because he was going to “kill his mother-in-law,” Lowery said.
After April and her daughter refused his request numerous times, Dorriety pulled a .45 caliber pistol and began shooting one of the wheel wells of the car until they got out of the vehicle, Lowery said.
Lowery said Dorriety then got back into the vehicle and traveled down Milstead Lane headed towards Dean Lane where Allison lived.
While traveling down Seven Mile Road, also known as Baldwin County 61, Dorriety saw Allison’s truck approaching, set up a makeshift roadblock with his Toyota Camry about 100 yards away, drew his rifle and shot Allison, according to Lowery. He then approached the vehicle and shot Allison several more times before fleeing the scene, he said.
Dorriety then traveled to Lottie Grocery, where he called the sheriff’s office informing them that he had shot his mother-in-law, Lowery said.
Dorriety was charged with capital murder, two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle and reckless endangerment. During the video conference, Dorriety’s back was turned to the camera and he only spoke in whispers to defense attorney David Matheny.
Circuit Judge James Reid set bond at $100,000 for each count of shooting into an occupied vehicle and $10,000 for reckless endangerment, but Dorriety remains behind bars at the Baldwin County Corrections Center after being denied bond on the capital murder charge.
Following the eight-minute hearing, family members quickly exited the courthouse and gathered outside. Allison’s close friend, Gary Wood, fought back tears as he spoke.
Displaying his cell phone, Wood said, “I have a cell phone in my pocket, but I don’t have anybody to call. I don’t have anybody to call, nobody. That’s the only reason I have a cell phone is for her to call me.”
The Atmore community was also shocked by the murder. As director of economic development for Creek Indian Enterprises and a graduate of the Leadership Atmore Class of 2007, Allison had many dealings with the Atmore community.
If convicted of the murder, Dorriety could face the death penalty.