( 4UMF NEWS ) Estranged Boyfriend Kills Five:
Police in southwestern Alabama said Sunday a 27-year-old man who confessed to killing five people early Saturday, including a pregnant woman, will be charged with six counts of capital murder.
Authorities said the suspect, Derrick Dearman, used “multiple weapons” in the killings. He was in custody in Mississippi after kidnapping his girlfriend and a 3-month-old infant. The pair were later released unharmed.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office told AL.com that Dearman killed the victims as they slept in Citronelle, Ala., about 30 miles northwest of Mobile.
The killings took place hours after Dearman’s girlfriend, Laneta Lester, fled to a relative’s house Friday afternoon to escape Dearman, who was abusive, Lester told police. He came to the home around 1 a.m. Saturday, police said, and they responded to a 911 call at the house, but two Citronelle police officers couldn’t find him.
The officers left the scene, police said, and sometime before dawn Dearman returned and killed the victims as they slept. He then forced Lester and the baby into his car and drove to Mississippi. Dearman released the pair when he arrived at his father’s house, police said, and later turned himself in at the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Dearman is from Leakesville, Miss., in Greene County, about 20 miles west of Citronelle, AL.com reported.
Mobile County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Burch, who called the crime scene “horrific,” said the case “appears to be domestic related,” but did not immediately say what Dearman’s relationship to the victims was. They ranged in age from 22 to 36, police told AL.com. The youngest was five months pregnant, police said. A 4-month-old infant was found alive at the scene.
Asked why officers couldn’t find Dearman after the initial 911 call, Burch said the home is located in a heavily wooded area. “It would be really easy for someone to disappear quickly.”
Burch told the Associated Press that the magnitude of the crime was “unprecedented here.”
Speaking to reporters, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said that in her 20-year career as a prosecutor, she had never encountered a crime “where there were five people who were brutally and viciously murdered, and that’s what we have here.”
Authorities said Dearman had already confessed and was awaiting extradition to Alabama.
“He’s been cooperative,” Burch said Sunday.
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