Capital charges filed in murder case
Charges for the man accused of beating and murdering a Russellville woman early Friday have been upgraded to capital murder, officials said.
On Monday, Angel Campos Nava, 33, 1948 Franklin 48, Lot 13, Russellville, was charged with capital murder in the death of 25-year-old Lesley Hope Plott after investigators received new information, Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said.
“We have new evidence that came in that leads us to believe that the attack started while the two were still inside the vehicle,” Hargett said.
“Under Alabama law, if a murder occurs inside of a vehicle, it is classified as capital murder so we upgraded the charges when this information came to our attention on Monday.”
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said the statute upgrading murder charges to capital murder charges if the crime was committed in a vehicle was something that he believed was originally passed as a way to prevent violent crimes involving vehicles.
“I believe the original purpose was to prevent crimes like car jackings and drive-by shootings,” Rushing said. “Even though this murder wasn’t one of those two scenarios, based on this new evidence, the statute still applies to upgrade the charges.”
According to officials, Plott was found murdered near her home in the 1700 block of North Jackson Avenue between 1 and 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Witnesses said the body was found in or near a ditch in front of Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
Officials said the murder was the result of an apparent domestic dispute since Nava and Plott had been involved in a relationship that had recently ended.
Hargett said Plott and Nava had left her mother’s residence sometime around 1 a.m. Friday morning and the dispute occurred on during the drive.
Plott was allegedly taking Nava back to his residence to get his vehicle so he could go to work when an argument apparently escalated into a physical confrontation.
Hargett said Nava is accused of beating Plott before attacking her with a knife.
The official cause of death is still under investigation pending results from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Nava was flown from the scene to Huntsville Hospital after suffering from what appeared to be self-inflicted knife wounds.
At this time, he is still in the custody of the Russellville Police Department under guarded protection at the hospital’s ICU.