MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Jaclyn Skuce has been incarcerated for over two years after she was charged with capital murder in the shooting death of the father of her child in what authorities called a “murder-for-hire” plot.
Now, her daughter and several others are pleading with the judge to lower her bond so she can be released and reestablish a relationship with her children.
Skuce was one of five people in the alleged plot to kill Larry Sheppard. The two were in the middle of a custody and visitation battle over the child they had together, according to prosecutors.
Aaron Howard, Logan Delp, LaJuhn Smart and Angela Stolz were all indicted on three counts of capital murder along with Skuce on April 21, 2021.
Sheppard, a 41-year-old father, was shot multiple times in his Hartselle home after a relative said he opened the door for the suspect. Several bullet holes riddle the interior walls of the house.
His death marked Hartselle’s first homicide since 2006.
Skuce and Sheppard were supposed to appear in court on the day of the murder for custody and visitation issues, prosecutors said.
Police found Sheppard’s body when he failed to appear in court earlier that day and they checked his home. Investigators said Skuce contracted Delp to kill Sheppard, and the others involved all played a role.
A total of nine letters were recently sent to Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell, each of them raving about Skuce’s character, citing Bible classes, parenthood initiatives, mentorship programs and other lessons that she has finished or been involved in.
One letter was written by Skuce’s oldest daughter, who says her mother is “a strong, hard-working, faithful, selfless woman who had dedicated her life to care for and protect her children.”
Her daughter wrote that Skuce has continued to do “everything she possibly can” to stay in touch with her children since she’s been in jail.
“The last time I got to see [Skuce] was in our living room, over two years ago, in the middle of the night with my mother in handcuffs,” the daughter wrote. “I can not go the rest f my life without hugging my mother again. I need her in my life. I have been strong…but I miss my mom.”
You can read all of the other letters written to Judge Howell here and here.
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson, who earlier stated that he would “personally prosecute” the case, is still listed as the sole prosecutor for each of the five cases.