Shaffer's attorneys file first motions in murder case - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shaffer's attorneys file first motions in murder case

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By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

FAYETTEVILLE, TN (WAFF) - There are new developments involving six murders in two states.

Attorneys for Jacob Levi Shaffer have filed the first of many motions in a death penalty eligible case.

Shaffer is charged with five counts of first degree murder in Lincoln County Tennessee.

You have copies of all the defendant's motions.

His attorneys entered an order, listing each victim, to prevent the bodies of those killed from being cremated.

The defense wants the ability to inspect, examine, photograph and test the bodies--- but prosecutors say three of the victims were cremated before the motions were filed.

Jacob Shaffer sits in a maximum security lock up in Nashville, Tennessee, accused of stabbing to death his estranged wife Traci Shaffer, her son Devin Brooks, his friend Robert Berber Brock, Traci's father Billy Hall and her brother Chris Hall.

He's also accused of beating Sidney Dempsey to death at a Huntsville business.

"We got him up here and I anticipate we will be trying him first," said Charles Crawford DA for Tennessee's 17th Judicial District.

Shaffer's case is in General Sessions Court in Lincoln County.

"We will be looking at the very nature of this crime how serious it is the strength of the case and several other factors," said Crawford.

Shaffer's attorneys are doing the same, working to ensure their client is given a fair trial.

They've filed the first motions requesting to inspect, examine and preserve physical evidence.

A hearing will he held this week.

The case will be turned over to a grand jury.

If there is enough evidence it will go to trial.

And a jury of Shaffer's peers will determine what's next.

"In Tennessee, there are three possible punishments for first degree murder. There is life with the possibility of parole after serving 51 years, there is life without the possibility of parole, and there's death sentence," said Crawford.

If there is evidence to move forward, the case leaves the hands of the Tennessee Grand Jury then to circuit court, then to trial.

Once Tennessee is finished prosecuting, Alabama can then put a hold on Shaffer and proceed with their charges.

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