Cullman County father pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2017 shooting death of son

Donald Wayne Trammell (Cullman Police Department)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Jones Chapel man Donald Wayne Trammell, 44, on Thursday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Dec. 24, 2017 shooting death of his son, Logan Wayne Trammell, 22. The plea was entered in the court of Cullman County Circuit Judge Gregory Nicholas. Trammell told investigators he opened fire on his own vehicle as it pulled away from his home, unaware of who was driving and believing the vehicle was being stolen. He was sentenced to a 15-year split sentence with three years to be served in a state prison, plus 10 months to be served in the Cullman County Detention Center, followed by 26 months in the Cullman County Community Corrections Diversion Program.

Manslaughter is a Class B felony and could have carried a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison.

Trammell also pleaded guilty to harassment and violation of a domestic violence protective order in a case in which he was accused of stalking his estranged wife. His sentence will run concurrent with the manslaughter sentence.

Once in the diversion program, Trammell will be out of jail, but will be under intensive supervision including wearing an ankle monitor and submitting to routine drug testing. Additionally, he will be required to complete an anger management course and can have no contact with his estranged wife.

Timeline of prior events

  • On Dec. 24, 2017, shooting at his own truck which, according to Trammell, he thought was being stolen, the defendant struck and killed his son, Logan Trammell, who was driving the truck.  
  • In Feb. 2018, Donald Trammell was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter, case CC-2018-230, and was released on bond.
  • In Oct. 2018, Trammell’s wife filed for a protection from abuse order, claiming that Trammell had committed violent acts against her.  The request was granted, and Trammell was served with the protection order on Nov. 2.
  • On Nov. 5, Cullman Police discovered Trammell in a car across the street from his estranged wife’s place of employment, dressed in camouflage clothing, with binoculars, a pocket knife and other tools.  The time was before work hours, and police concluded that he was waiting on his wife to arrive. Trammell argued that he was meeting a friend to go view hunting land. He was arrested and charged with violation of a domestic violence protection order and second-degree stalking.
  • On Nov. 7, 2018, Assistant District Attorney John Bryant filed a motion to revoke Trammell’s bond in the manslaughter case, in response to the new charges.  A warrant was issued for Trammell’s arrest. He was located and arrested on Nov. 14. He spent 14 days in jail and was released on Nov. 28 with his bond reinstated.  Among the conditions of his release was an agreement to submit to a psychiatric evaluation. Court records do not show whether such an evaluation has taken place.
  • On Dec. 6, 2018, Trammell was found near his in-laws’ home where his wife was reportedly staying.  According to the police report, he was “lying in wait and watching the victim with binoculars.”  According to a letter sent by Trammell to the court, “I was going to stop and talk to my mother and father in law.  I pulled off the side of (***) at the end of their road to make sure my wife was not there!”  Later in the letter, he insisted, “I have never nor will I ever have any bad intentions or plans to harm or threaten her in any way.”
  • On Dec. 7, 2018, ADA Jeremy Cline filed a new motion to revoke Trammell’s bond, claiming, “The criminal actions of the Defendant constitute a violation of the terms and conditions of the Defendant’s bond in these cases,” that “The Defendant is a flight risk, as shown by his evasion of law enforcement prior to his arrest on the State’s previous motion to revoke the Defendant’s bond that was filed on November 7, 2018,” and that “The Defendant is a threat to community safety.”  The motion was granted the same day by Cullman County District Judge Wells “Rusty” Turner.
  • On Dec. 14, 2018, Turner issued an order for an alias warrant (warrant for suspects who fail to appear in court or respond to court orders) for Trammell.
  • On Dec. 31, 2018, Trammell led three Cullman police officers on a high-speed chase along a route that included U.S. Highway 278, Interstate 65, Alabama Highway 157 and St. Joseph Drive and ended near the Cullman Housing Authority at the intersection of First Street Southwest and 13th Avenue Southwest. Trammell was arrested and charged with attempting to elude, reckless endangerment, second-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and multiple traffic violations.
  • On Jan. 4, 2019, Nicholas revoked Trammell’s bond.


Copyright 2019 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


W.C. Mann