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Grand jury indicts Cross on capital charges

Papers were filed in the office of the circuit clerk this week that will keep a Brewton man behind bars on capital murder charges.
Michael Lane Cross, 20, was indicted Monday on a charge of capital murder by members of the Escambia County grand jury, according to court documents.
Lane had previously been arrested on an open murder charge after he was accused of killing Marion Juman Spears of Brewton in late November 2012.
According to reports at the time of Cross’ arrest, the suspect turned himself into authorities just days after the shooting that left Spears dead.
Cross reportedly told officers he believed he may have accidentally shot Spears while he was deer hunting at night — an act that is illegal.
What prompted the investigation and subsequent arrest was first believed to have been an automobile crash with Spears at the wheel of the vehicle in question. As first-responders arrived on the scene, it was discovered that Spears had suffered gun shot wounds.
Spears was slumped in his vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Mason Mill Pond Road on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.
Following Cross’ arrest, the investigation was turned over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation due to a conflict of interest with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department.
Following a bond hearing on Nov. 30, 2012, Cross was released on $300,000 bond — $150,000 each on charges of murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. He has been free on bond since that time.
With the grand jury indictment, the open charge of murder was upgraded to capital murder — a charge that will keep him behind bars until such time as a trial can be set in the case. No bond was allowed following the indictment.
Cross could face life in prison without possibility of parole or he could receive the death penalty if he is found guilty in the case.