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Jimmy Spencer's upcoming triple capital murder trial could be delayed again

WAAY 31 cameras were the only ones covering the important hearing Tuesday in Guntersville.

Posted: Dec 7, 2021 4:43 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2021 6:18 PM

Accused triple-murder suspect Jimmy Spencer will undergo IQ testing while in prison Friday, WAAY 31 has learned.

Spencer was out on parole in 2018 when the murders happened. The case sparked statewide changes to the parole system and national media attention.

Jimmy Spencer

Spencer’s accused of the murders of 7-year-old Colton Lee; Lee's great-grandmother, Marie Martin; and Martin's neighbor, Martha Reliford while he was out on parole.

WAAY 31 cameras were the only ones covering the hearing Tuesday in Guntersville. The judge reviewed a long list of pretrial motions from the defense, including a request for a change in venue for the jury trial. Spencer's defense hired a polling company to conduct surveys with residents in Marshall County, which found 70% of the people surveyed already feel Spencer is guilty and that 70% say they have extensive knowledge of the case due to pretrial media coverage.

Spencer appeared via Zoom for the hearing. His defense team argued they will not be able to find enough impartial jurors in Marshall County, but prosecutors said there is not enough evidence to back the defense's argument. 

Dorothy Hayes, one of Reliford’s sisters, said their family does not care if they move the trial.

"That will be fine with me if they move it," Hayes said. "I don’t feel like we will get justice in Marshall County. I’m not afraid to say it: I don’t think we’ll get justice."

The judge is also considering a defense motion to not allow recorded statements that Spencer made in court following his arrest. The judge will need to listen to more than 15 hours of recordings before he can rule on that question, which could delay the jury trial currently scheduled for early next month.

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