‘Capital Murder While Under a Life Sentence:’ Man charged in Guntersville triple murder faces 3 new counts

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - A grand jury indicted Jimmy O'Neal Spencer on seven counts of of Capital Murder, adding three to the original four counts officials arrested Spencer on several weeks ago.

Spencer is accused of killing three people in Guntersville. Investigators say Spencer killed Marie Martin, her seven-year-old great-grandson Colton Lee, and her neighbor Martha Reliford.

He was originally arrested Spencer on four charges of Capital Murder. Those charges included two counts of Capital Murder During a Robbery, and one count each of Capital Murder When Victim is Less Than 14 Years Old and Capital Murder of Two or More Persons. A grand jury tacked on three additional counts of Capital Murder While Under Life Sentence.

"It was a count for each victim, which alleged the murder of each victim while the defendant was under the sentence of life," Marshall County District Attorney Everette Johnson said.

Officials didn't know that about Spencer at the time of his arrest. "Of course we knew that he was on parole, and we knew that he had had prior trouble, but we didn't know that he had a life sentence, so we obtained documentation of that," Johnson explained.

The grand jury heard all of the evidence and facts, which resulted in the three additional counts. "He's up to seven counts of capital murder," Johnson said, "No new crimes alleged, different means of committing the crimes alleged."

Johnson explained under Alabama code, there are more than a dozen ways a person can commit the crime of capital murder. "Several applied to him," he added.

You may remember our series of reports that said Spencer spent several years in prisons. He was paroled and released from prison in January, after spending most of the last 30 years in prison on a variety of charges in which he faces a variety of sentences - including a life sentence.

Jimmy Spencer continues to sit in the Marshall County Jail with no bond.