Family of murdered Wylam twins faces four accused in their slaying

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Tears rolled down LaTasha Berry’s face as she listened to the charges against those accused of killing her sons.

The 17-year-olds were gunned down inside their home, and she was shot in the spine trying to get away from the gunmen.

Police say the gunmen broke into their house in Wylam.

All four accused — Stanley Chatman, Crystal Nelson, Quinten Nixon and Dayjuan Tuggle — appeared in court on Monday, an appearance that meant they had to face the Berry family for the first time.

“It was very hard looking at them in their faces,” Alicia Thomas said. “I want to tell you that, you know, we tried to be Christian, but Lord help me, Jesus, that was very hard to do. I’m still shaking.”

Thomas, the aunt of Jonathan and Jeremi and the family’s spokesperson, says her niece left the hospital just to be in court on Monday.

“Right now she is in a wheel chair,” Thomas said. “She doesn’t have any feeling right now.”

Defense attorneys heard the charges against their clients during the hearing.

Attorney Emory Anthony is one of the five attorneys representing Stanley Chatman, who bonded out of jail in March on a separate murder charge.

Anthony didn’t want to talk about that charge, though.

“I can’t do that,” he said. “There’s no need to talk about his history right now.”

He did, however, have a desire to talk about the number of attorneys representing his client.

“It has nothing to do with the magnitude of the charges or the offense, but it’s an opportunity for young attorneys to qualify to do capital murder cases,” Anthony explained.

Those attorneys and their clients can expect to get used to seeing Alicia Thomas.

“We will be here. We will be here,” she commented.

A preliminary hearing is set for August 22, 2013.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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