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Students Charged With Murder After Argument Over High School Football Teams

Three Prattville High School students and a Montgomery teenager have been charged with murder in a fatal shooting that apparently occurred after an argument over whether Wetumpka or Prattville has a better high school football team.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said the shooting occurred after an argument Friday night at a back-to-school event in Wetumpka.

Killed was Ramonda Mitchell, 35, of 114 Crenshaw Drive. Franklin said the shooting occurred about 4:30 a.m. Saturday in the Crenshaw community, just west of Wetumpka.

Charged in Mitchell's death are James Gray, 19, of Montgomery, and Justin Edwards, Greg Hall and Eric Hardison, all 18, of Prattville. They are being held in the Elmore County Jail under bonds of $500,000 each.

"What in the world are these children these days thinking about?" said Wanda Freeman, who lives in the Crenshaw community. "Why would you shoot somebody over something as silly as a football team? I just don't understand it. Nobody around here does."

Edwards, Hall and Hardison are seniors at Prattville High School, Autauga County schools Superintendent Larry Butler said.

Investigators believe the trouble started Friday night during a back-to-school party at the National Guard Armory in Wetumpka.

"A group from Prattville got into an argument with a group from Wetumpka about who had the better football team," Franklin said. "The Prattville group left and told people they were going home to get their guns and come back and shoot people."

Several guns were used and several shots were fired when Mitchell was killed, the sheriff said.

The four suspects were arrested by Millbrook police on Alabama 14 between Wetumpka and Prattville.

Investigators asked for high bonds in an effort to keep a lid on emotions, Franklin said.

"I have spoken with the parents of these young men and told them their sons need to stay in jail for a while," he said. "That's for their own protection. I don't want anybody from Wetumpka thinking they can ride over to Prattville Saturday or Sunday night and settle the score."