Southern Union shooter files appeal on sentence

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A man convicted of murdering his mother-in-law and injuring other members of his family is appealing his sentence as he sits behind bars at the Lee County Justice Center.

Convicted killer Thomas May III was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last March.

Now, his attorneys William Whatley and Todd Crutchfield have filed an appeal on his behalf.

Following the sentencing hearing, they told the media it's an action that is not uncommon.

"We're not done. We still have work to do," says Whatley.

May was convicted of one count of capital murder and one count of attempted murder in spring 2014, after he targeted his then estranged wife's family on the Opelika campus of Southern Union State Community College on April 2011.

He shot and killed his former mother-in-law, Brenda Watson, and injured three others, including his daughter.

In March, Judge Jacob Walker upheld the jury's 10 to 2 recommendation of life without the possibility of parole.

The state was seeking the death penalty, but told us they respected the jury's decision.

"The jury worked really hard in this case, we are in the third week now. You can't ask for anything more than we asked this jury to do. They did a great job throughout the entire process," says Lee County District Attorney, Robbie Treese.

If the appeal has merit, and is accepted by the court a hearing could be scheduled for sometime in the future. We will keep you updated with any developments.

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