Hartselle family thanks police, community following arrests in murder case

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HARTSELLE, Ala. – If you drive down Dawson Street in Hartselle, you’ll see a large thank-you sign stretched across what used to be Larry Sheppard’s yard.

Sheppard was shot several times in his doorway on July 24th before he was supposed to go to a child visitation hearing. 

The Sheppard family can’t speak publicly as pretrial hearings for the 5 alleged suspects start on September 22. So instead of using their voice, they used their creativity to send their thanks. 

Hartselle police say the message is greatly appreciated. This after the department worked overtime and late into several nights chasing down leads.

“It means a lot to us here at the department that our community supports us. Not a lot of communities get the support we do. Especially after the work Investigator Burgess put into this case,” said Lt. Alan McDearmond of the Hartselle Police Department. 

Of the five arrested, one woman sticks out because of her relation to Sheppard. Jaclyn Skuce is the mother of Sheppard’s daughter. She is now charged with solicitation of murder. 

Her arrest warrant says Skuce acted surprised when officers notified her of Sheppard’s death. The warrant says Skuce quickly told law enforcement that Sheppard had been making threats against her and their daughter. The Sheppard family denies that and says Skuce was trying to do anything to keep Sheppard from his daughter. 

Sheppard placed cameras on his property to protect himself from both physical and verbal harm. Hartselle police said in a press conference last week that they collected evidence from those cameras that helped identify suspects.

The arrest documents say cameras helped link a car to the sale of the gun that was used to kill Sheppard. 

Jaclyn Skuce, Aaron Howard, Logan Delp, Lajuhn Smart and Angela Stolz all fave capital murder charges. 

Hartselle PD underlined how helpful outside agencies have been to the investigation. The FBI has assisted. 

 “Overtime was authorized to investigate the case. We had patrol officers that would come in on their off days to help us,” said Lt. McDearmond. 

News 19 will continue to follow this story, bringing you the latest as we get it.

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