A parole hearing was held for Jerre Chatom who is currently serving two LIFE sentences after causing the fatal shooting deaths of Deputy David Beck and Deputy Robert Stolz in 1975.
The incident began in 1975 when Sheriff Ronald Kelso began pursuing a speeding vehicle containing David Wilson and Jerre Chatom. During that pursuit, Chatom pulled out a shotgun and proceeded to fire at Sheriff Kelso’s vehicle. The officer called for backup and the chase continued. Chatom and Wilson fled deep into a swamp near the Alabama-Mississippi border, eventually abandoning their vehicle, and attempting to escape on foot.
Deputies Robert Stolz, David Beck, and Sam Morgan arrived on the scene and began pursuing the suspects. During the chase, Chatom opened fire again ultimately killing Deputy Stolz and Deputy Beck. Chatom was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to LIFE but won a new trial on appeal. In the new trial, Chatom was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and again sentenced to LIFE.
During the parole hearing, the State and the victims’ families requested that the defendant’s parole be denied and set off to the max. The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted that request. Chatom will be eligible for parole in another 5 years.