Editor’s Note: Some of the details in this article may be disturbing for some viewers.
MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) —The Prosecution has rested its case in the triple murder trial against Jimmy Spencer, and the defense has indicated it does not plan to bring any evidence.
After a day of looking at evidence from investigators and the state medical examiner, the state has rested its case against Jimmy Spencer. They were followed by the defense, which said it would not bring its own evidence in the case.
The seventh of the day was filled with testimony looking at the autopsies of the three victims in the case, Marie Martin, her great-grandson Colton Lee, and her neighbor Martha Reliford. The jury also heard the end of testimony from Retired Guntersville Police Officer Mike Turner, who testified about his series of interviews with Spencer.
State Medical Examiner Dr. Valerie Green testified to the injuries each suffered victim before their deaths.
Spencer is charged with Capital Murder in connection with the killings.
Green said she performed each of the autopsies on the same day and began by describing the autopsy of Reliford.
She said Reliford primarily suffered from blunt-force injuries to the head and neck. Green said Reliforce had fractures and lacerations around her eyes, mouth, jaw and neck.
Photos shown during Green’s testimony showed Reliford’s face was disfigured from her injuries. They also showed the presence of insects on the body. Green said she estimated Reliford had been dead for about a week at the time of the autopsy on July 16, 2018, Reliford’s body had been discovered on July 13.
The medical examiner said it was unclear if Reliford’s injuries were caused by one or several blows, but said a significant amount of force would be necessary to cause the injuries.
Green said Martin’s injuries were in two sets, damage from asphyxiation and blunt force injuries. She said her cause of death was asphyxiation. Green said Martin had a dog leash around her neck at the start of the autopsy.
Green also noted an injury to the side of Martin’s neck which appeared to have been caused by a knife
The final autopsy described by Green was that of the 7-year-old Lee. She said he suffered from several blunt force injuries to the head along with lacerations to his head and scalp and broken bones.
Green said the injuries were consistent with those caused by a claw hammer. She said Leed suffered from 16 or 17 blows to the head overall.
Photos shared during the testimony about all three autopsies painted a grim picture of the injuries all three suffered.
While cross-examining Green, the defense asked if there had been any DNA evidence recovered during the autopsy, though the medical examiner said that is not her area of expertise.
The Prosecution started the day by continuing the testimony of Retired Guntersville Police Officer Mike Turner, who investigated the deaths.
Turner testified that Spencer helped investigators find items related to the crimes after his arrest. He said this included Martin’s debit card, which was found in a hedge near Walmart.
Turner said investigators also looked for Martin’s purse near a mobile home park Spencer had previously lived at.
He also detailed some of Spencer’s background. Turner told the court how Spencer had lost his mobile home and began living in a campground.
He also said Spencer’s car was eventually impounded and he ended up unemployed and homeless. Turner said a friend told Spencer that Reliford needed some help and he became an occasional handyman for her.
The former investigator then discussed the video showing Spencer at a Texaco gas station and how Spencer has wiped down Martin’s car after using it. Turner also discussed various other items Spencer gave information to help find including the hatchet used to kill Reliford, though the item was not found.
Turner also said police had a second recording of Spencer allegedly admitting to the killing, much like the one played on Monday.
As his testimony continued, Turner described several different conversations with Spencer throughout July and early August 2018. He said Spencer led investigators to a wooded area near Waffle House where they found a bottle of AXE Body Spray that had been sprayed in Martin’s face.
Turner said Spencer spoke to investigators on Aug 7 and said he had left one of the knives used in the killings near Regions Bank, though investigators never found it. He said he spoke to Spencer for the last time on Aug. 15 when Spencer again admitted to the killings.
Under cross-examination by the defense, Turner said at the time of his first interview with him, Spencer said he hadn’t slept in several days and had been using methamphetamine.
The retired investigator also said that Spencer had been in prison most of his adult life and was paroled from a life sentence before the killings. Turner also said Spencer had been arrested before the killings on a possession of drug paraphernalia charge but his parole was not provoked at the time.
The closing arguments in the case will begin Wednesday morning at 10 a.m at the Marshall County Courthouse. News 19 investigative reporters will provide the latest updates live from inside the courtroom.