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I-Team: Investigators release motive in Guntersville triple homicide

The Marshall County Chief Investigator identified the motive Jimmy Spencer had in the Guntersville triple homicide.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 6:12 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 3:46 PM

Friday afternoon, the Marshall County Chief Investigator John Young answered two of the biggest questions surrounding the case: Why Jimmy Spencer murdered these three people and how he did it.

According to authorities, Spencer's motive was revolved around money. He first tried to rob Martha Reliford and when she refused, he became aggressive.

Spencer hit Reliford in the head with the flat back of a hatchet and then stabbed her. Later, he went to the Martin's house where he confronted Marie Martin. After robbing the house, Spencer strangled and stabbed Marie Martin. Colton Lee, the seven-year old boy, was killed with blunt force. 

Authorities tell WAAY31 Spencer was homeless and was sometimes staying in a shelter in Guntersville. It was there he met a relative of Martha Reliford.

"When he met that relative, they brought him to Mrs. Reliford's house a couple times," Young said. "He was able to meet people in the neighborhood, other folks out walking their dogs, he would speak to them, therefore he met our other victim."

After becoming familiar in the neighborhood, he met Marie Martin. After killing Martin, Authories believe Spencer stole her vehicle. He was found two days after the bodies were found at a Waffle House.

Officials say Spencer is cooperating at this time and is helping locate other items he stole.

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