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Victims’ family, survivor speak after Danville triple murder suspect’s court appearance

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:20 PM CDT
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DANVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Danville triple murder suspect appeared in a Morgan County courtroom Monday morning for his preliminary hearing.

Carson Peters faces three capital murder charges. He’s accused of killing his soon-to-be ex-wife and two other people on May 24th at a home in Danville. There was a fourth shooting victim who survived the incident.

He remains in jail with no bond.

Danville Triple murder suspect appeared in court Monday for his preliminary hearing
Danville Triple murder suspect appeared in court Monday for his preliminary hearing(WAFF 48 News)

The victims who were killed have been identified as Teresa Lynn Peters 54, James Edward Miller, 55, and Tammy Renee Smith, 50. All were found dead at a home on Flint Creek Private Drive.

According to court documents, Peters was engaged about his divorce proceedings with Teresa.

This Monday in court, we learned the identity of the fourth victim who survived the shooting. That’s Mary Kenney. She has since been released from the hospital and was in court for the hearing. She told WAFF 48 News that she suffered one gunshot wound to the arm but managed to call 911 and alert police about the shooting.

It was a wave of emotions for the family members who lost their loved ones in the Memorial Day weekend shooting. WAFF 48 News talked with family members who say they want the victims to be remembered and for justice to be served.

“I still don’t think I’ve really completely processed it all. Every morning it hits you all over again,” said Crystal Hagan, daughter of Teresa Peters.

“It broke me pretty bad. Trying to figure out why, why it all happened. We shouldn’t be going through this right now," said Ashley Maples, another of daughter of Teresa Peters.

The close-knit family of more than a dozen children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren say it’s still surreal.

“My mom was a survivor. She had overcame abuse and addiction her whole life. Her and her sister were very close," said Justine Morgan, daughter of Tammy Smith.

Family says they feel like everything's been taken away from them.

Mary Louise Kenney is their grandmother. She somehow survived the horrific shooting that killed her daughters, Teresa Peters and Tammy Smith,

“The loss for me is really bad, severe. But the loss knowing my grandchildren have lost their mother, my great-grandchildren lost their nana and their grannie," Kenney said.

James Miller’s family didn’t want to talk on camera. However, all the victims’ remaining family members have come together and say they’re praying for justice and are going to see Carson Peters gets what they say he deserves.

“He needs to get the ultimate punishment that he can get. He took three amazing people out of this world and he has no remorse, doesn’t feel bad for it, and deserves the ultimate punishment," said Maples.

“Capital punishment for sure. I hope he suffers just like he made us suffer," said Roger Knight, Ashley Maples’ boyfriend.

Fatal shooting in Danville
Fatal shooting in Danville(Source: WAFF)

Decatur police have jurisdiction over the case and is the agency that’s been investigating. Decatur police detective Sean Mukaddam testified on behalf of the department.

After hearing testimony, the judge bound the case over to a grand jury.

Mukaddam testified that Peters was interviewed by Decatur police detectives for about seven hours after turning himself into U.S. marshals on May 26, two days after the shooting.

In his testimony, Mukaddam said that Peters admitted to killing Teresa Peters, James Miller and Tammy Smith. A statement given by Peters to Decatur police was read aloud in court on Monday.

WAFF 48 News also learned more information about what led up to the deadly Sunday afternoon in Danville.

In court, we learned that Carson Peters was spending time with his son, Scottie Peters, and girlfriend, April Hanner, the day of May 24th. According to Mukaddam’s testimony, Carson Peters received a letter in the mail related to his divorce with one of his alleged victims, Teresa Peters. Mukaddam testified that the letter triggered Carson Peters who then went to the home on Flint Creek Private Drive where he allegedly killed Teresa Peters, her sister Tammy Smith, and Tammy’s boyfriend, James Miller.

Decatur Police investigating shooting at a home in Danville
Decatur Police investigating shooting at a home in Danville(DPD)

From Mukaddam’s testimony we learned that Teresa Peters was killed first. She was shot twice. Her body was found inside a bedroom. Tammy Smith was killed second and was shot once. James Miller was killed last. He was shot twice. His body was found on a porch.

Mukaddam testified that Carson Peters’ girlfriend, April Hanner, and son, Scottie Peters were present for all three murders. In a statement to police, Scottie Peters said he tried and failed to stop Carson from killing his three alleged victims.

Mukaddam testified that after the shooting, Carson Peters fled the scene and spent the night in a cave nearby. On May 25th, the next day, Hanner returned to the scene on Flint Creek Private Drive and picked up Peters and they fled together to Piedmont, according to testimony. On May 26, two days after the shooting, Scottie Peters retrieved his father from Piedmont and took him to Decatur where he turned himself in to U.S. marshals.

Hanner faces a charge of hindering prosecution for her role in allegedly helping Peters elude law enforcement. Her preliminary hearing for that charge is set for July 15. She was present Monday for Peters’ hearing but declined to speak with WAFF 48 News.

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