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I-Team: Shoals lawmaker says some laws need to be given another look in wake of Spencer case

Some lawmakers say laws need to be changed in the wake of the Jimmy Spencer case.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 5:52 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 3:28 PM

One Shoals lawmaker says things need to change after the parole board let a man now charged with murdering three people out of prison.

Many people tell WAAY31 they believe the parole board failed when they let Jimmy Spencer out of prison despite the fact that he was supposed to be serving a life sentence for crimes in the Shoals.

Spencer was let out of prison in January 2018. He then walked away from a mission center where he was supposed to be at for six months within three weeks of arriving. The mission center told us they notified his parole officer.

Spencer is then written misdemeanor citations in May in Guntersville State Park. In June, Guntersville police were called on him by a woman he's now charged with killing but he cooperated and police couldn't arrest him. Again nothing pops up in a national crime data base on him.

On the same day in June Spencer is arrested by Sardis police for resisting arrest and drug charges. they contact the state about him and nothing is done again. Police say one month later he killed three people in guntersville.

The parole board told us they are reviewing Spencer's case.

"When I heard the district attorney of Franklin county wasn't notified why not?" said Franklin County lawmaker, Johnny Mac Morrow.

The Franklin County District Attorney has told WAAY31 he has not been able to find any letter or notification from the parole board about Spencer's 2017 parole hearing, he said that doesn't mean something could have gotten lost in the mail. Spencer's original victim from Franklin County wasn't notified either.

"Anytime a person is up for parole that victim should be notified," said Morrow.

In the parole boards notice of hearings it says, victims of anything less than first degree burglary are no longer recognized as victims. Spencer was convicted of second degree burglary. Morrow says the law needs to change and every victim should be notified in a case.

The parole board is now paroling inmates at a 54% rate, according to their data. Morrow also says he wants to go back and look at what laws can be changed because of this case.

"When things like this happen absolutely we need to go back and say are we going down the right road, because i'm not sure we are," said Morrow.

We have reached out to Governor Kay Ivey's office and the Attorney Generals office to see if they plan to take action. We have not heard back from them .

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