Jury finds Nathan Stephens guilty of murder

Oct. 25—A Cullman County jury has found Nathan Stephens guilty of the 2020 murder of Herndon Self.

According to the Cullman Police Department, Self was stabbed to death on Sept. 12, 2020, inside a moving vehicle near the intersection of Alabama Hwy. 157 and U.S. Hwy. 31. Stephens — who had been incarcerated with the Alabama Department of Corrections for a burglary conviction only two days prior to the incident — fled the scene and led police on a month long manhunt before being apprehended outside of Atlanta, Ga. by the Cobb County Georgia Fugitive Unit and the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.

His mother, Audrey Cofield Smith, has also been charged with hindering prosecution in connection with the murder.

Following a two-day trial tried by Cullman County District Attorney Champ Crocker and Assistant District Attorney Tina Burgett, the jury returned a guilty verdict late Tuesday evening.

"I would first like to thank the jury for their service, the Cullman Police Department who did a great job on this case during the investigation and the other law enforcement agencies who helped capture Mr. Stephens when he fled from law enforcement," a statement sent to The Times from the district attorney's office said.

Following the verdict, Circuit Judge Gregory Nicholas remanded Stephens into custody — where he has been serving out a 75-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender in connection to a 2002 rape conviction — pending sentencing at a later date.