Attorneys for the murdered Lt. Col. Alonzo McGhee say he fought hard for custody of his children in the months before his murder. Just one week before he was shot dozens of times in front of his family's Owens Crossroads home, attorney Mark McDaniel said he'd won that custody battle.
McDaniel said its been a difficult few days for him and his colleagues at his Huntsville law firm.
"He was just one of those people that when he walked in a room he lights up everybody. Everybody loved him," recalls McDaniel.
McDaniel represented the decorated Lieutenant Colonel in his recent divorce. He says the battle between McGhee and his ex-wife was one of the nastiest he's seen in his 36 year career. He says there was a lot of contention between his client and Fillis McGhee, a former principal of Hampton Cove Elementary School who was terminated after the school board found her guilty of fraud.
"This was a very messy hard fought custody battle. I emphasize the word battle. I mean it was tough," said McDaniel.
McDaniel says just one week prior to being shot and killed, he won his case.
"This man loved his children. He fought hard for them. He won the case. And then a week later he was murdered," said McDaniel.
The divorce decree issued in the case gave McGhee sole physical custody of the couple's three children and ordered the former principal to pay child support and vacate the family's home by Feb. 1st. It also slams Fillis McGhee, saying the defendant quote "exhibited a pattern of deception" and that "the defendant's pattern of deception was apparent in her dealings with the plaintiff and many others including those at Hampton Cove Elementary School."
McDaniel said he's been working closely with investigators who have yet to name a suspect in the case. But he said whoever shot him was shooting to kill.
"Murder is a tough word. But it isn't tough enough for this case. This was a slaughter. All you have to do is go out there and look at the street and see the number of those little orange circles to know the number of bullets that were fired out there to make sure this man was dead," said McDaniel.