RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala.- Friday morning, a hearing was held at the Russell County Courthouse, for 19-year-old Travon Harmon, who allegedly shot and killed his grandfather, Leroy Harmon and his sister, Bianca. Harmon also allegedly shot his childhood friend Devonte Howard. The hearing was done to see if there was enough evidence for it to go to a grand jury. Based on information presented in court, there was enough evidence for it to go to the grand jury.
During the hearing, Russell County District Attorney, Kenny Davis called Russell County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Perry Couch to the stand. Couch arrived to the scene on January 4th. He noticed Bianca Harmon on the couch with a gunshot wound to the head and saw Leroy Harmon with a gunshot wound to the head as well. Another person was shot in the incident, but survived. That person was Harmon’s childhood friend, Devonte Howard.
The investigator said another investigator tried to interview Harmon after he had been transported to the sheriff’s office. Harmon did not want to speak. The investigator said that later that day, he knocked on investigators’ door and said he had a “sweet deal” for them. Harmon waived his Miranda Rights and spoke with the investigator. Harmon was interviewed by investigators a second time for clarity on statements he made.
During interviews, Harmon told investigators that after he shot his grandfather, the grandfather told Travon to shoot his sister, Bianca. Harmon also told investigators that his grandmother who witnessed the shootings asked that he shoot her as well- he did not. Harmon also said that he called 911 saying there had been a murder at the home.
Harmon’s attorney, Jeremy Armstrong addressed that some of Harmon’s statements were inconsistent. For example, Harmon gave two different orders of the people he shot. Armstrong said the reason he brought these inconsistencies to light was to make Harmon’s mental illness known to the court. “Basically, there were some issues, mental health issues going on with Travon,” Armstrong said. “He gave inconsistent statements that did not make sense logically. Those were the reasons I was pointing those out. As you saw, during the investigation, it was not questioned as to Travon’s education. He dropped out of school before he completed the 7th grade and has had some mental issues since then.”
Armstrong told News 3 that one of the challenges in the case is that it is capital case with the ultimate potential penalty of death or life without parole and some of the constitutional issues that come about.
Toward the end of the hearing, Harmon addressed the court saying that he would like to keep Armstrong as his attorney. Prior to Friday, there were instances where Harmon said he did not want Armstrong as his attorney. He wanted a paid attorney instead, but the family said they were unable to afford one. Armstrong told Harmon that he is the best shot he has.
This case will be sent to the Grand Jury.