Charges upgraded to murder in Garden City elder abuse case

Chandler Reese Knowles (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

Updated 3-29-21 at 7:40 p.m.

CULLMAN, Ala. – After an arrest last week on charges of elder abuse, Chandler Reese Knowles, 28, of Bremen was charged with felony murder Monday following the death of his alleged victim on Saturday.

According to a media release from the CCSO, on Friday, March 26 deputies responded to in the Garden City community after receiving reports of a possible assault. Working in conjunction with the local fire department and EMS, it said, deputies were able to locate the victim, who was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The CCSO said Knowles was arrested after an immediate investigation.

He was initially charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree elder abuse.

The following day, according to the CCSO, the victim died as a result of his injuries. Following the victim’s death, Knowles was also charged with felony murder.

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry stated, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and are praying for the victim’s family as they continue to deal with this senseless crime. I am very proud of the immediate response by our deputies and investigators. They were quickly able to identify, locate and charge Knowles with these very serious crimes.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Felony murder is charged when a death occurs as a result of actions during the commission of another crime that was not necessarily intended to lead to the victim’s death. Felony murder and elder abuse are both Class A felonies. If convicted, Knowles faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and could receive a life sentence.

Knowles has multiple prior arrests for possession of a controlled substance and previously pleaded guilty in a burglary case. At the time of the alleged crime last week, he was out on bond on a marijuana possession case following an arrest earlier this month.

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W.C. Mann