A Timeline of Events: DA’s office releases more information on triple murder in Guntersville

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Jimmy Spencer remains in the Marshall County Jail, accused of killing three people in Guntersville last week. Friday, the chief investigator with the Marshall County District Attorney's Office, John Young, released a timeline of events.

Young tells us they have determined the motive for the murders as robbery.

Marie Martin, her seven-year-old great-grandson Colton Lee, and her neighbor Martha Reliford are the victims in the case.

Young said Spencer got out of prison in January. After a while, he hitched a ride with someone he knew and came to Guntersville. He was homeless and occasionally involved with one of the homeless programs in the county. Young said they believe that's how he met a relative of Martha Reliford's, who is one of the victims.  "They brought him to Mrs. Reliford's house a couple of times," Young said, "Never really stayed there, I don't think. Would frequent some. By being in the neighborhood, he was able to meet people in the neighborhood."

Eventually, Young said Spencer ran out of money. He went to Reliford's home and took some. "During that process, we believe that Mrs. Reliford probably said 'no', and he hit her in the head." The DA's office said he did that with the back flat part of a hatchet, stabbed her, and took off.

"A period of time passed, then he's needing more money. He comes back to our next victim's home and through a ruse gets in," Young said. He added Spencer took money from Marie Martin, who was watching her great-grandson, seven-year-old Colton.

"Her injuries were strangulation and stab. Colton was blunt force trauma."

Investigators said Spencer stole her car. "The car was found by a police officer up at Publix," Young said.

Investigators looked at surveillance video and started the process of tracking Spencer down. Later, an officer found him walking behind Waffle House in Guntersville and stopped him.

"Being in the neighborhood put him on our radar," Young said, "It put several other folks. Remember they picked up a guy real early, because he frequented that neighborhood real often."

Officials say there are no more suspects on the radar at this time. Spencer is facing four counts of Capital Murder.

He's from Franklin County and has a criminal past. Spencer had recently been released from prison.

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