MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The jury trial against a Birmingham man charged in the 2018 Guntersville triple murder heads into its fifth day on Friday.
Spencer, 57, is charged in the deaths of Marie Martin, her great-grandson Colton Lee, and her neighbor Martha Reliford in July 2018. He faces seven counts of capital murder in the case and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
During opening statements on Thursday, Prosecutor Edward Kellet laid out the facts, from his perspective of the case. Kellet said the case began when Martin’s granddaughter couldn’t reach her and dropped by to check up on her.
He said the granddaughter found Martin and Lee both dead, Martin with a cord around her neck and Lee with head injuries, inside the house and called 911. The prosecutor said the two had likely been killed the night before they were discovered.
The prosecution said police found Reliford after determining that she hadn’t been seen for several days. She was also found dead in her home. Kellet said both women were apparently killed in robberies and Lee was attacked because he had been a witness.
Kellet said Spencer eventually went to Reliford’s house with a hatchet to get money. He said during this encounter Reliford was killed and Spencer took around $700.
He said Spencer went to Martin’s house after the money ran out and during that encounter Martin and Lee were killed and Spencer took $13.
Kellet said ultimately the evidence will show that Spencer is guilty of what he is charged with.
In his opening statement, Defense Attorney Jerry Baker said the case was going to be tough. He asked the jury to weigh the evidence carefully before making any final judgments.
Baker asked the jury to be fair to Spencer and simply follow the evidence.
Several witnesses were called to testify on Thursday, describing the days leading up to, during and after the killings.
While the prosecution questioned each witness extensively, the defense offered no cross-examination of any witness.
The trial will pick back up Friday morning at the Marshall County Courthouse. News 19 will provide live updates from the courtroom.