Pursuit of Justice 

A theatrical film based on the Sharon Davies book, Rising Road.

It was among the most notorious criminal cases of its day. On August 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Alabama, a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight and in front of numerous witnesses. The killer’s motive? The priest had married Stephenson’s eighteen-year-old daughter Ruth to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic. Sharon Davies’s Rising Road resurrects the murder of Father Coyle and the trial of his killer.

We invite you to view these promotional videos from the film.


Cast & Production Team

Executive Producer – Mark Sims
Producer – Edie Hand
Writer/Director of Promo and Theatrical Screenplay – Dave Johnson
Writer – Joan Considine Johnson
Production Team – Norton Dill Productions
Location – The Cathedral of St.Paul in Birmingham, Alabama
Costumes by Mary Gurney of Samford university
Hair and makeup by Debra Stanford of Majestic Salon

Linc Hand  – Attorney Joe Tate
Barry Austin  –  Father Coyle
Kyle Holman – Pastor Stephenson
Meredith Revel – Ruth Stephenson 
Bradyn Debysingh – Pedro Guzman

Experts commenting on the case/film:
Sharon Davies, Jim Pinto, Judge William H. Pryor Jr, Pasty Riley, Sharon Tinsley, Sister Gentle, Ora Jerald, Chris Danielson, Mark Sims, and Edie Hand.

A Sims Productions with Hand ‘N Hand Entertainment and Dill Productions

Pursuit of Justice – Short Version
Filmed by Dill Productions

(L to R) Producers: Edie Hand and Mark Sims, Author: Sharon Davies and Writer: Greg Garrison
Greg wrote an article for Alabama.com highlighting the Rising Road story and the Pursuit of Justice Film project.