Autwell pleads guilty in 2018 crash that killed Hanceville woman

Terry Autwell (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Terry Autwell, 28, of Hanceville, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the Dec. 10, 2018 vehicle crash at the intersection of Cherokee Avenue and 24th Street Southwest that claimed the life of April Dawn Landinger. Landinger, 30, also of Hanceville, was a passenger in Autwell’s car when, while turning from Cherokee Avenue onto 24th Street, Autwell crossed in front of an oncoming vehicle driven by Skylar Higgins of Hayden. Autwell was additionally charged with failure to yield right of way.

Autwell entered the plea as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to three active charges in separate cases which also included:

  • Unauthorized termination of residence: Autwell is a registered sex offender and failed to notify authorities of a change of residence.
  • First-degree theft of property: Autwell was charged with stealing a large amount of cash from a Pizza Hut.


Autwell was sentenced to 12 months in the Cullman County Detention Center on the homicide charge and five years in state prison on each of the other charges. Under the plea deal, he will serve all three sentences concurrently.

Higgins was also charged with criminally negligent homicide and exceeding reasonable and prudent speed. Court records in the homicide case are not publicly accessible; according to the victim’s family, Higgins was granted youthful offender status. The family also said that the homicide case was dropped as the State pursued its case against Autwell. Available court records show that the traffic charge was dismissed at the request of the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office.

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W.C. Mann