Grand jury indicts Albertville woman for murder, victims mother speaks out

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 7:33 PM CDT
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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - An Albertville mother is grateful the justice system is moving forward in her daughter’s murder case.

With a woman now indicted for her daughter, Jana Chatman’s murder last year.

“I just looked up to the sky and said, Jana, we got her and prayed to God that he would do the right thing and send her to prison for the rest of her life,” said Michelle Abney.

On Thursday, a Marshall County Grand Jury indicted 39-year-old Leslie Sims for the murder of 32-year-old Jana Miller Chatman.

Sims was arrested last November.

Investigators said during questioning, Sims confessed to the killing.

Since then, Chatman’s mother, Michelle Abney, said it’s been difficult; to cope with her death.

“It’s been really hard. I can’t go over and clean out her house. I’m paying somebody to do it because when I walk in there, I walk back out because I can’t handle it. Knowing I don’t get texts at night from her because I work the second shift, and we texted a lot at night, so it’s very hard,” said Abney.

Now, all she has are memories to help keep Chatman’s legacy alive as she and the family wait for trial.

“I’m hoping for a little closure, but I know we will never be all the way closed because we don’t know what happened on that road when she was unloading that 22 on my daughter. But it would give me a little bit of peace knowing what happened,” said Abney.

WAFF 48 also reached out to the Marshall County District Attorney’s Office and asked if they are seeking the death penalty- and was told they are not commenting on the case at this time.

Chatman would have turned 33 next Tuesday, March 22.

Her mother said family and friends will celebrate with a balloon release at her gravesite on Sunday, March 20.

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