Five dead, including pregnant woman, in Alabama mass killing
By NBC News
A 27-year-old man is being charged with six counts of capital murder for the slaying of five people, including a pregnant woman, in southern Alabama early Saturday morning, the Mobile County District Attorney's Office said Sunday.
The Mobile Sheriff's Office has identified the five victims as Robert Lee Brown, 26; Chelsea Marie Reed, 22; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Joseph Adam Turner, 26; and Shannon Melissa Randall, 35. They were found Saturday afternoon inside a house in the city of Citronelle, about 30 miles northwest of Mobile.
Chelsea Reed was five months pregnant, according to the Mobile County Sheriff's Office.
Derrick Ryan Dearman of Leakesville, Miss., had surrendered himself to the Greene County Sheriff's Office in Mississippi Saturday afternoon and confessed to the crimes. The Mobile District Attorney's Office has started the extradition process, and Sgt. Joseph A. Mahoney of the Mobile Sheriff's Office expects to have Dearman returned to Alabama within the next couple of days.
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich told reporters near the scene that in her 20-year career as a prosecutor, she's never encountered a crime "where there were five people who were brutally and viciously murdered, and that's what we have here."
"There are multiple weapons that have been used," she said.
Police told NBC News that weapons included a firearm and possibly an ax.
Authorities were first alerted to the crime by a woman, 24-year-old Laneta Lester, who walked into the police station on Saturday afternoon and said she'd been kidnapped along with a 3-month-old infant, the child of one of the victims.
Lester had gone to the house where the murders took place to stay with a relative, though police were not sure which, if any, of the victims she was related to. Lester had been in an abusive relationship with Dearman, police said, and she was attempting to get away from him.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, someone inside the residence called the police to report Dearman trespassing on the property. Citronelle Police responded to the call, but did not find Dearman on the scene.
Between 1:15 a.m. and sunrise, Dearman returned to the residence and attacked the victims while they were sleeping, police said.
Following the murders, Dearman then forced Lester and the infant into a vehicle and fled to Mississippi, where his father lived. Shortly after, Deaman and his father went to Green County Sheriff's Office to turn himself in.