WAAY31 learned more surrounding the case of Jimmy O'Neal Spencer, the man charged with killing three people in Guntersville. On Monday, the WAAY31 I-Team sat down with Spencer's lawyer and learned Spencer was still in contact with his parole officer even after walking out of his assigned facility.
Nobody seems to have known Spencer just walked out the doors of his court-assigned facility, including the parole officer that was talking with Spencer after he had left.
"Apparently even after he [Spencer] left he was continuing to check in with his parole officer," Robert Tuten, Spencer's court-appointed lawyer, said.
Tuten confirmed to the WAAY31 I-Team Spencer did not cut all communication with his parole officer after all. After Spencer walked out of his parole program in Birmingham, he was still talking to the officer.
"From all indications, he was still checking in with his probation officer after he left that facility," Tuten said.
Court documents show Spencer was released in January even though he was serving a life sentence for burglary. Spencer was initially sent to L.I.F.E. Tech, a program focused on helping inmates, but it was too crowded. The state then sent him to the Jimmie Hale Mission Center, a homeless shelter that has an inmate re-entry program in Birmingham. Jeanette Grantham works with an advocacy group for victim's rights and said Spencer was at the mission center for only two weeks before leaving. The Department of Corrections and the Jimmie Hale Mission Center won't confirm those details.
"My feelings are at this point, based on our investigation so far, that they may have not known he had left," Tuten said.
Tuten says he's met with Spencer several times and is continuing to work with him to learn more about what exactly happened from the time Spencer walked away until police arrested him in July for killing three people.
"Overall it's pretty clear the system failed," Tuten said.
Tuten tells WAAY31 he is unsure what the conversations between Spencer and the parole officer were about and whether or not Spencer was lying about his location.