Letter to the editor: open letter to district attorney


Editor's note: Below is a letter to the editor sent to The Tribune. The letter is a copy of a letter reader Emily Hayes addressed to Cullman County District Attorney C. Wilson Blaylock. This is an opinion piece and is the opinion of the author, Ms. Hayes. As of today, June 14, 2017, Brad Meeks has not been charged with any crime relating to the car crash that took the life of Curtis Wilson. The incident is still under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

                                                                                                                                    June 13, 2017

Mr. C. Wilson Blaylock

Cullman County District Attorney

500 2nd Ave SW #207

Cullman, AL  35055


My name is Emily Hayes. I lived in Cullman and graduated from Cullman High School. I was recently heartbroken to learn of the death of Curtis Wilson. I have had the pleasure of knowing his family for over a decade. His loss is one the Cullman community will grieve for quite some time. For in his short 15 years on this earth, he made an incredible impact on many lives.  This was evident in the outpouring of community support for his family this past weekend at a benefit I was blessed to help host for the family of Curtis. Curtis was taken away from us too soon by the selfish act of Brad Meeks, who has a history of very poor decisions and behavior, which he has yet to be effectively punished as evidenced by him taking Curtis’ life and in the process destroying an entire family. 

I recently learned of the most current arrest of Brad Meeks for theft of property. I found out the information Monday June 12th, less than 24 hours following the benefit mentioned above. By all accounts, Mr. Meeks was under the influence when he took Curtis’ life that night and this recent arrest shows that it is apparent that Mr. Meeks has a long and troubled history with substance abuse and with respect for his own being, not to mention the law. Mr. Meeks seems to have the ability to avoid responsibility for his egregious actions towards humanity.  A brief look at his alarming arrest history below evidences this.

As a citizen of the state of Alabama, it troubles me that someone who has had as many DUI charges and other interactions with law enforcement as Mr. Meeks has not been placed in custody. It is clear he has violated his probation that stems from two felony charges that were pled down to misdemeanors. His most recent charge, occurred just a few weeks before the wreck that took Curt’s life. One is left to think that if the authorities would have acted differently with respect to enforcement of the law, the wreck that took Curt from us might never have happened. According to Alacourt, Mr. Meeks has been cited and charged with myriad of offenses including but not limited to the following:

Running a red light
Failure to stop at a stop sign
Second-degree possession of marijuana
Multiple speeding violations
Unspecified driver's license issue
Use or possession of drug paraphernalia
Public intoxication
Illegal possession of alcohol
Leaving the scene of an accident
Reckless driving
Leaving the scene of an accident
Public intoxication
Use or possession of drug paraphernalia
DUI-combined influence of alcohol and controlled substance
DUI (in Spanish Fort, while in rehab)

It is apparent by the above list that Mr. Meeks lacks any kind of personal responsibility for his actions, because he has never had to suffer the consequences of such actions. His actions have ripped apart the lives of many others who have respect for, and follow the laws of this state and he has yet to be held accountable by our justice system for his actions.

By never having to suffer the consequences of his actions, he finds a way to go back into society without ever fully appreciating the severity of the crimes he has committed. He managed his way out of his rehab stint after a DUI charge just to rack up another DUI charge on his way back to rehab.

It is appalling, not only to me but to numerous others to know that this man has been given chance after chance, opportunity after opportunity to correct his behavior and his actions. However, he has proven that he has no respect for his own life let alone the lives of others. My concern is, when do you, as the district attorney of Cullman County, start to hold him accountable?  Will you uphold the law and attempt to make it stop and not plead down the charges of a man who obviously needs to have the full weight of the justice system against him? If it was your family member or someone you knew you may feel the urgency and need the family does to see that justice is served. Mr. Meeks seems to have no problem continuing to lead a life of disrespect.  He seems to have more lives than a cat at dodging incarceration and the consequences of his actions, despite knowing and understanding the laws that we all live under.  Is Mr. Meeks going to continue to be allowed to live under a different set of rules or can you put this pattern of his to an end? We are looking to you as the district attorney to not give him another chance.  He has been given numerous chances in the past and what do we as a community have to show for it?  We have a gravesite and a grieving community of young people whose faith in our justice system in extremely strained.

By copy of this letter, I am also voicing my concerns to the attorney general of the State of Alabama and to various news outlets.


Emily Hayes