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Sheriff says Guntersville triple murder suspect found with shank

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WAFF) - The Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said a Guntersville man accused of three gruesome murders in 2018 was found with a shank while he was being transferred Wednesday morning.

Jimmy Spencer is charged with four counts of murder, along with three additional charges of capital murder.

Jimmy Spencer was in court on Tuesday, for a hearing to set his trial date for the murders of Martha Reliford, Marie Kitchens Martin and 7 year old Colton Lee.

Spencer is accused of killing the 3 at two separate homes in 2018. Investigators said he was homeless with a long rap sheet, but he somehow knew 65-year-old Reilford.

Sheriff Phil Sims said deputies went to pick up Spencer from Kilby Prison in Montgomery.. When they arrived back to the Marshall County Jail, that’s when the shank was discovered in the body scanner.

”When I took office, contraband was a huge issue in this jail, so we’re taking every precaution we can to eliminate anything like from happening and the body scanner is helping us do that,” said Sims.

Sims said all proper policy procedures were taken by deputies to ensure that inmates such as Spencer are properly searched.

”If you come into the building, you are getting scanned. It can be you are going out to court, you’re going out to hospital, work detail, hospital, new arrestee you’re going to be scanned,” said Sims.

He said this is the first time they have had an inmate from the state with contraband and have contacted the Department of Corrections about the incident . WAFF 48 also reached out to them and have yet to hear back.

Sims says charges will be filed at the conclusion of the cases that are currently pending.

Officials say it is still under investigation how he obtained the shank prior to entering the jail.

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