A Jackson County jury deliberated nine hours over a two-day span on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning a guilty verdict against a Dutton man charged with murdering his father.

Keith Shirey, 61 of Dutton, was convicted in the May 24, 2017 murder of 78-year-old Charles Shirey.

Before reading the verdict, Circuit Judge John Graham said there were no winners on Wednesday.

“This is a solemn occasion following a tragedy,” said Graham. 

Graham remanded Keith Shirey into the custody of Sheriff Chuck Phillips after the verdict was announced. Shirey was taken to the Jackson County Jail where he remains.

Keith Shirey’s attorney, Joe Espy III, of Montgomery, asked Graham to set a bond. However, Graham said he would not consider it Wednesday.

“You can file a motion for bond,” Graham told Espy. 

Graham set a sentencing date for Jan. 6, 2022. Keith Shirey is facing 10-99 years in state prison, according to the sentencing guidelines, including a $60,000 fine.

Following the verdict, Espy, who along with his sons, Bill Espy and Ben Espy, represented Keith Shirey, declined comment, saying the family has suffered enough.

District Attorney Jason Pierce, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant District Attorney Krystina Jackson, said it was a long, difficult trial.

“The jury had a difficult job,” said Pierce. “There was a lot of evidence with very difficult pictures to deal with. We are very grateful for the verdict.”

Pierce credited the Espys in their defense of the case.

“They did a standout job,” said Pierce. “They were very classy with the utmost dignity.”

The prosecution said, during the trial, that Keith Shirey killed his father over money, saying he was in debt and his father refused any more help.

The defense argued throughout the trial saying that was untrue and that Charles Shirey never refused to help his son and that father and son had joint accounts. The defense also said the evidence did not add up to a conviction.

Pierce complimented the sheriff’s office, which he said never quit on the case.

“The sheriff’s office never stopped working on the case, from the murder in 2017 to an indictment in 2019,” said Pierce. “Major Eric Woodall’s leadership resulted in this conviction.”

Pierce also credited Jackson, his assistant district attorney.

“The family was very pleased with her work,” he said. “She did an outstanding job.”

(1) comment

Jeff laney

Don't believe it ! Have known him all my life , no way he did this

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.