DOUBLE SPRINGS - An Arley resident has pleaded guilty to murder and arson charges in the death of former Helicon firefighter David Brian Hayes, who was found shot in his home, which had been set on fire, authorities said.
Caleb Scott Farley, 22, of 2001 County Road 22, pleaded guilty to murder and arson first degree, based on the incident which occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, at Hayes’ residence at 5954 Helicon Road, according to Winston County District Attorney Scott Slatton.
Hayes’ body was discovered by firefighters responding to a fire at his residence that morning, Slatton stated.
Farley agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for the charge of murder, and 20 years in prison for the first degree arson charge, authorities said.
As part of his plea, Farley admitted to shooting Hayes then setting his house on fire, in order to cover up the murder, according to Slatton.
Through a joint investigation of local and state officials as well as Hayes’ autopsy, it was learned that Hayes was shot twice and was deceased prior to the arson, Slatton explained.
Farley’s sentencing was conducted by Judge Daryl Burt, who sentenced him according to his agreement with the district attorney’s office, DA officials stated.
Farley will be held in the Winston County Jail in Double Springs, until his transfer to the Alabama Department of Corrections, authorities said.
“As I commented when this case first began, I would like to commend the investigators for their tireless work in this case to bring the suspect to answer the allegations,” Slatton said. “All the men and women involved in this investigation put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort over a holiday period,”
Farley was initially arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, and charged with the murder of Hayes, as well as first-degree arson of the wood frame residence where Hayes resided on Helicon Road, according to the 25th Judicial Circuity District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division.
The Helicon Fire Department, where Hayes was once a member, is pleased to finally see closure to this tragedy, noted Helicon Fire Chief Neil Feist.
“That day, Dec. 19, (2020), will forever be in the memories of the firefighters on the scene,” Feist stated. “We lost a former member and neighbor,” Feist added.
“Fatalities are always tragic, but harder when it’s someone you know,” Feist continued. “Justice has been served, but Brian is still gone.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.