I-Team: Triple homicide suspect had multiple run-ins with police prior to murder arrest

After Jimmy Spencer's run-in with Guntersville Police he was arrested by Sardis Police.

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 5:48 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 3:28 PM

The WAAY31 I-team uncovered a man out on parole, now charged with killing three people, another run in with police before the crime.

WAAY31 discovered Jimmy Spencer had a run in with Guntersville Police. Monday, officers there said one of the women he’s charged with killing called them hours before police in another city arrested him.

The Guntersville Police Chief told me Martha Reilford called the police department, not 911, the morning of June 14th. She told police she thought someone at her home was stealing her prescription medication.

Police said in total there were four people at Reliford's home inculding herself, a relative, a man named Jeremy Buckelew, and Jimmy Spencer.

Police said Reilford's relative and Buckelew split when she called the cops but Spencer stayed. He actually waited on the curb and gave police consent to search him and his car.

Police did not find any drugs and they said he cooperated 100%. Martha Reilford chose not to press charges.

Guntersville police said they took notes on the report but did not have any evidence to arrest Spencer. Officers did run Spencer's name through a national data base, but no warrants or anything showed up. They had to let him go. 

Later in the day on June 14th, police in Sardis arrested Spencer on drug and resisting arrest charges. The Sarids Police Chief said they ran Spencer’s name through the same national crime data base and learned he was out on parole, but no warrants or anything like that popped up either. 

The chief told me his department notified Spencer's parole officer and state officials, but nothing was done. On June 19th, he was released from the Etowah County Jail on his Sardis charges because the state didn't put a hold on him.

One month later, police say Spencer killed Reilford and two other people in Guntersville.

We are still waiting to get information from the Department of Corrections on Spencer's disciplinary actions against him while in prison.

The state department of corrections granted Spencer parole in November even though he was sentenced to life in prison and had a spotty record as a prisoner. He walked away from a re-entry program weeks after his release. The state was notified but nothing was ever done about it.

The Alabama Pardon and Parole Board says it’s doing a complete review of the Spencer case.

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