Alabama appeals court upholds man's capital murder conviction for 2009 killing of Pelham police officer

Pelham Police Officer Phillip Davis was shot and killed by Bart Wayne Johnson during a traffic stop in December 2009. (

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama appeals court has upheld a man's capital murder conviction for killing a Pelham police officer, but it has directed a trial judge to do a better job of explaining why he sentenced the man to death. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals decided 4-0 Tuesday to affirm the capital murder conviction of Bart Wayne Johnson received for shooting Officer Phillip Davis in the face during a traffic stop for speeding in December 2009. The jury at Johnson's trial recommended 10-2 that he be sentenced to death, and that's the sentence the judge imposed. But the appeals court said the judge must make specific findings about aggravating circumstances and mitigating circumstances that led to the sentence. Then the appeals court will look at the sentence again.To read the complete ruling, click here.