Mobile man found guilty of shooting clerk – his sixth crime – is sentenced to life in prison

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Reginald Thadeous Blevins walked into court in handcuffs and stood passively as a judge handed down the only sentence he could hand down for a 2020 robbery and the shooting of a convenience store clerk – jail for life.

This life sentence – without the possibility of parole – was automatic because the defendant’s five previous felony convictions qualified him as a “recidivist”. This includes the murder in the shooting death of Joey O’Brien in 2013.

“Mr. Blevins, the only sentence I can impose, by law, is life without parole,” Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter told the defendant.

Blevins, 36, is already serving a 17-year sentence for the 2013 murder. He was on probation for it when he shot a CEFCO station employee on Spring Hill Avenue on January 17, 2020. A judge has revoked after his arrest on the new charge.

Blevins pleaded guilty in 2017 to the murder of Joey O’Brien. The victim’s sister. Kelly Poole, said her brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time, riding his bike down Spring Hill Avenue. She said she was comforted to know that her brother’s killer was finally going away for life.

“I would say some relief that he’s going to be held accountable for his actions and some relief that he’s not out on the streets hurting other people,” she said.

In addition to that murder, the defendant’s criminal record includes four other convictions – guilty pleas in 2015 for second-degree assault, shooting into an occupied vehicle and third-degree robbery; and a guilty plea in 2014 for drug possession.

Surveillance video of the CEFCO heist shows a thief walking inside trying to steal 12 packs of Bud Light. The salesman tries to stop him from leaving and he shoots him before fleeing the store.

In a trial last month, a Mobile County Circuit Court jury decided the thief of the surveillance video was Blevins. Prosecutors presented evidence that Blevins had previously attempted to steal beer from the same gas station and had taken beer without paying from a store in Daphne days before the shooting.

“Today’s sentencing by Judge Youngpeter ensures that Reginald Blevins will no longer torment the citizens of Mobile County,” Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Reginald Blevins said in a statement. “While this sentence will never fully relieve the victims of Blevins’ many crimes over the years, I hope today’s sentence will at least bring closure, not only for the victims, but also for the citizens of the Mobile County.”

Defense attorney James Byrd objected to having his client’s previous convictions put on the record since prosecutors had not presented certified copies. The judge overturned it, noting that the defendant, himself, had admitted the convictions during his testimony at trial.

Byrd told FOX10 News he objected to it being kept as an issue appeal.

“Sometimes there are errors in the file,” he said. “There was no lawyer present; they did not properly inform him of his rights – a problem which could exist in the documents or in the files. But they had no papers or files here. They just took the case numbers and said they were valid.

Blevins’ parents were present for Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

“They suffered for many years with Reginald,” Byrd said. “And they love him dearly, but they can’t seem to change him.”

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