Preliminary hearing reveals details in killings of 7 in Morgan County

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – New details were revealed in a preliminary hearing about the shooting deaths of seven people at a Morgan County home in June.

Frederic Allen Rogers and John Michael Legg are charged with capital murder for the killings that happened June 4 at a home on Talucah Road in Valhermoso Springs– a house that authorities said was known for drugs.

During their hearing Friday morning, FBI agent Chris Hendon testified that when authorities arrived at the home they found all of the victims had been shot multiple times, some had been partially burned, and one had a knife wound as well.

Three of the victims – William Zane Hodgin, Jeramy Roberts and James Benford – were found in the garage. Roger Jones Jr. body was in a back bedroom. Emily Payne’s body was found in the living room. Tammy England Muzzey was found in the dining room and Dakota Green, the youngest victim, was found in the kitchen.

Hendon said in testimony Friday that there was a large meal prepared at the home and that one of the victims had already begun eating when Legg and Rogers arrived.

After the killings, the FBI agent said, gasoline also was poured over part of the house and on some of the victims and then set on fire.

Hendon said they focused on Legg as a suspect early on and were able to match shells from the scene to some they found at his father’s home.

Through geofencing and a phone used by the suspects, Hendon said they were able to track the two through Kansas and Colorado into Oregon, where they were taken into custody 18 days after the killings.

Once extradited back to Morgan County, Rogers said in an interview that he and Legg had started a motorcycle club called the 7 Deadly Sins, and they served as president and vice president, according to testimony. Though described in court as a motorcycle gang, Hendon testified that the members didn’t have motorcycles.

Authorities said Rogers told them he and Legg were concerned that they would get in trouble over an ‘unsanctioned’ crime committed by Roberts, a member of the club. Rogers said they went to the house, killed everyone, set fires and left to get some marijuana, according to testimony.

Legg did not provide authorities with a statement.

A second witness, Morgan County Sheriff’s Investigator Jordan Byrd, was called to the stand by Legg’s defense. Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson said Byrd was unable to testify at the hearing because of he was showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Legg’s defense asked that they hearing be continued, but Morgan County District Judge Brent Craig denied the motion.

The judge determined there was probable cause on all charges in the case and bound it over to a grand jury.

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