Guntersville triple murder suspect Jimmy Spencer appears in court

Northeast Alabama
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — A man accused of murdering three people in Guntersville was in court Monday morning. Jimmy Spencer is facing seven counts of capital murder in connection to a case that shook the city of Guntersville in July, 2018.

The families of the three victims sat inside the courtroom at the Marshall County Courthouse well before the ten o’clock hearing was expected to start. Deputies walked Jimmy Spencer across Blount Avenue and into the courthouse, where he took his seat steps away from the families of seven-year-old Colton Lee, Colton’s great-grandmother Marie Martin, and her neighbor, Martha Reliford.

Martin was looking after Colton when they were killed at her home. Investigators made a welfare check and found Reliford deceased in her home during the initial investigation.

During the hearing Judge Tim Riley granted two motions made by the state, including a motion for discovery. Last year Jimmy Spencer pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to all of the charges against him. The results of a mental evaluation have not come back yet.

Birmingham attorney Tommy James represents the families of the victims. He said each step in this case brings mixed emotions. “They’re happy the prosecution is moving forward in this and they want swift and severe justice in this case,” James added.

Spencer’s attorneys said capital cases are extremely complicated and have a lot of moving parts. They expect more hearings like Monday’s before the case goes to trial, which could be years down the road.

Judge Riley set another status hearing for September 3.

Spencer was paroled and released from prison in January after spending most of the last 30 years in prison on a variety of charges. He faces several sentences on those charges, including a life sentence.


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