I-Team: Triple murder suspect pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to seven charges related to triple homicide

Jimmy Spencer will appear in a Marshall County courtroom for an arraignment hearing Tuesday morning.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 5:49 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 3:34 PM


The man charged with the murder of three people in July pled "not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect."

Jimmy O'Neal Spencer appeared in court on Tuesday to enter the not guilty plea.

During the court proceeding, Spencer entered the plea in the response to the seven charges he faces. Spencer is charged with three counts of murder under a life sentence, murder during robbery; murder of more than two people; murder and first degree robbery; and murder of victims under 14-years-old.

According to Marshall County District Attorney Everett Johnson, Marie Martin was killed by stabbing or strangulation. Colton Lee was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Martha Reliford was killed by blunt force trauma to the head via hatchet. 

Spencer's parole was also officially revoked during Tuesday's hearing. 

Defense attorney Robert Tuten told the court that Spencer's education only eigth grade and is not fully literate. 


A man charged with capital murder of three people in Guntersville will head back to court Tuesday morning. Jimmy O’Neal Spencer was out on parole in the midst of serving a life sentence when he was arrested in July on the murder charges.

According to court records, Spencer is scheduled for an arraignment hearing Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

WAAY 31’s I-Team recently obtained documents related to Spencer’s parole after the Alabama Attorney General’s office said the state parole board made a mistake in releasing Spencer.

It is expected that Spencer will be in the courtroom for Tuesday’s hearing. Back on August 16, Spencer’s attorney filed a motion asserting Spencer’s right to be present for “any and all proceedings at every stage of his capital trial.”

WAAY 31 will be at Tuesday morning’s hearing. We will update this story with the latest from the courtroom.

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