TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – Jail house baptisms in Colbert County are not uncommon, even for those charged with capital crimes.
However, last week when Ronald Weems, the man charged with the murder of Amanda Taylor, was baptized outside of jail, even authorities became alarmed.
Pictures were posted on Facebook just minutes after the baptism. The photos show Ronald Weems with family members at the church.
Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May explained that family members being there was a huge breach in security and should have never happened.
“When you have several family members there,” said May, “you don’t know what their intentions are and it can turn into a very dangerous situation.”
According to Sheriff May, the missionary who was working with Ronald Weems in jail tipped the Weems family to the event.
Sheriff May said these ceremonies are supposed to remain private, meaning no family members are to be there or even know it’s happening.
When the picture surfaced on Facebook of Weems surrounded by family, Sheriff May said he became livid.
“One officer taking this gentleman in to be baptized, and to walk in and there are several family members, he is totally out-numbered.”
Sheriff May said Monday morning the missionary’s visitation privileges have been suspended at the jail indefinitely.
Ronald Weems remains in the Colbert County Jail. His trial is scheduled to take place in 2013.
See WHNT News 19’s continued coverage of this story, where we get reaction from Amanda Taylor’s family.