Triple murder suspect’s hidden shank found by Marshall County Jail after arrival from state prison

Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said his office's new technology found the contraband

Posted: Jun 9, 2021 5:59 PM
Updated: Jun 9, 2021 10:42 PM

A man accused of murdering 3 people in Guntersville while out on parole was discovered to have potentially dangerous contraband when he arrived at the Marshall County Jail this week.

Jimmy Spencer had a shank, Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims told WAAY 31.

Jimmy Spencer

Spencer was in the Marshall County Courthouse on Tuesday for a hearing that set a trial date for those murder charges. (Read more HERE)

Sims said new technology at his jail led to the shank being found and confiscated.

"He had it hid very well, and our body scanner was able to pick it up and we were able to find it," Sims said. 

This week, the sheriff’s office drove to Montgomery to pick up Spencer at Kilby Prison and bring him to Marshall County for his hearing.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Spencer is under maximum security at the prison in what is called “close” custody.

Sims said the prison had Spencer ready to go and he was loaded into his office’s vehicle and brought straight to the jail.

Once there, he was put through a body scanner.

The device found the shank.

"You know generally, I can't tell you how he got it, but the DOC has always done a good job when we pick people up to have them searched and have them ready to go," Sims said.

Sims said the body scanner has been a crucial tool in finding contraband.

"We all know Spencer's background,” Sims said.

“We know he can be a violent person, so it's very important we find this stuff because if he gets access to this stuff and we don't know it, he could injure another inmate, injure our corrections officers.”

Sims said this is the first time he can recall an inmate coming from the prison system and into his jail with contraband.

WAAY 31 has reached out to the Department of Corrections with questions about the incident. We have yet to hear back.

Sims said Spencer remains in his custody, and he’s keeping him in solitary lockdown inside the jail.

"It's just about safety. It's about protecting our corrections and protecting other inmates," Sims said. 

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