Hearing for 2011 Southern Union shooter held Tuesday

Hearing for 2011 Southern Union shooter held Tuesday

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The Opelika man who murdered his mother-in-law during a shooting at Southern Union Community College will soon find out if he will be put to death for the crime.

Thomas May was escorted into the Lee County Courtroom for a final status hearing before his May 21 sentencing.

The same jury who convicted May in March of capital murder and attempted murder recommended he be sentenced to life without parole, by a vote of 10 to two.

Ultimately, it will be up to Judge Jacob Walker to decide his fate.

May was convicted of firing into a van in front of Southern Union Community Collage back in June 2011.

May killed his mother-in-law in the shooting, while injuring his estranged wife and her grandmother.

May's child with his estranged wife, who was four years old at the time, was in the van at the time of the shooting and was injured by glass.

The district attorney's office is asking the judge to sentence May to death.

WTVM's Elizabeth White said in her 14 years covering Lee County courts, she has never seen a Lee County jury recommend the death penalty in a capital murder case.

However, she said she has seen Judge Jacob Walker override a jury's life recommendation twice and sentence the murderer to death. He did it in the Courtney Lockhart case - for the capital murder of Auburn University student Lauren Burk, and he did it in the Lance Henderson case, for the capital murder of Deputy James Anderson.

We will be in the courtroom at May's formal sentencing next week and will keep you posted.

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