As a fifth suspect was arrested Thursday in connection to the fatal shooting on April 15 at a "Sweet 16" party in Dadeville, Alabama Democratic Party vice chairman Tabitha Isner condemned the "hypocrisy" of law enforcement for charging the suspects as adults.
"Alabama Law Enforcement: These teens are our children, damn it! They are only children and we must take extra care to protect them," Isner tweeted. "No one messes with our children! Also, we will be charging these teenagers as adults. #Hypocrisy #Dadeville”
She was ostensibly referring to comments made by Tallapoosa District Attorney Mike Segrest: "These are my kids. These are our kids. Don't mess with our kids. Do not mess with our kids." However, where Segrest was referring to the four children killed and 32 injured in the shooting, Isner was advocating for the alleged murderers.
"2nd in command of the [Alabama Democrats] falsely equating 3 accused murderers with the 4 innocent young people they murdered & the 32 innocent people they injured," Scott Buttram, publisher at The Trussville Tribune, said on Twitter. "And calling law enforcement hypocrites. When you see violent lawless mobs in Democrat cities, remember this #alpolitics"
As others on Twitter criticized her, Isner doubled down on her comments.
"When someone you love makes a mistake and is locked away in an Alabama prison to be tortured for the rest of their life, maybe your heart will grow a couple sizes. For me, all it took was Jesus's promise of redemption for all. But I know that doesn't convince everyone," she tweeted. "...Teenagers do not have fully formed brains. Their changing hormones make them even less predictable, even to themselves. We cannot treat them like adults, because they are not adults. That doesn't mean no consequences, but it does mean they deserve a second chance at life."
SEE ALSO: High school coach of alleged Dadeville shooter Ty Reik McCullough 'truly devastated and heartbroken': 'He is still mine and I love him'
Suspects Johnny Letron Brown, Willie George Brown Jr., Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., Ty Reik McCullough and Travis McCullough are expected to get an Aniah's Law hearing, which could mean they won't be given bond.
The four people they're accused of killing were Shaunkivia Nicole Smith, 17, of Dadeville, Marsiah Emmanuel Collins, 19, of Opelika, Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23, of Dadeville and Philstavious Dowdell, 18, of Camp Hill.
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