Jan. 30-Jurors found Kenneth Wayne Adams not guilty after deliberating into the evening Friday, Jan. 27. Adams was charged with murder in the shooting death of William Allen Brantley on March 28, 2019, on Rooker Lane off of Oak Grove Road. Adams had always maintained that he shot Brantley in self-defense, and almost four years later, the all male jury agreed.
The March 2019 incident stemmed from a property dispute and resulted in Brantley being shot four times as he confronted Adams. Adams was in his vehicle following behind a logging truck that had been doing work on his property as it attempted to make a right turn onto Oak Grove Road. Brantley had been upset with the logging trucks coming up and down Rooker Lane and had called the Limestone County Sheriff's Office in the hours prior to the shooting.
Dashcam footage from Adams' truck shows Brantley coming in front of Adams' truck and around the driver's side toward the driver's window. The actual altercation took place outside of the camera's view, but audio catches a verbal altercation followed by shots being fired. Adams' then called E-911 and explained that a man had approached him with a gun and that he was lying on Rooker Lane. He advised them to send deputies quickly.
After Sgt. Terry Johnson arrived, he soon found that both Adams and Brantley had been armed. Brantley's pistol was found lying out of the holster near his feet.
Lead investigator Kristin King theorized that Brantley was not armed when he came around Adams' truck. In an interrogation video, King accused Adams of being a "bully" and the aggressor. The State argued that Brantley reached for his gun after being shot, not before. The gun was found with a fully loaded magazine and a bullet in the chamber.
Adams' defense attorney Ron Smith focused on blood spatter found on Brantley's pistol and presented a different theory - that blood was present only because Brantley would have been holding the gun when he was shot and dropped the gun as he fell to the ground.
Jurors heard from several witnesses claiming not to see a gun in Brantley's hands, but there was contradiction in the testimony as to where on Rooker Lane the witnesses were standing when the shooting occurred.
On the final day of the trial, jurors visited the scene after Circuit Court Judge Chadwick Wise granted the defense's request to do so. Juror's walked Rooker Lane from one end to the other. They were able to see the distance from the position of eyewitnesses to the location of the shooting as well as the conditions on Rooker Lane.
Both sides rested their cases late Friday afternoon. Jurors opted to continue deliberations into the evening hours rather that come back Saturday morning. Just before 9 p.m. they let Judge Wise know they had reached a decision - not guilty.
Adams declined to be interview by The News Courier due to a pending civil suit filed against him by Shannon Brantley, widow of William Allen Brantley. In November 2019, Shannon Brantley filed a wrongful death suit against Adams. The civil case is still active, but no court date has been set.