How can somebody even think to do something as awful as this?!
Derrick Dearman, a 27-year-old from Leakesville, Mississippi, has been charged with six counts of capital murder after killing five people — including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby — as they slept over the weekend.
The horrific murders took place early Saturday in a small town called Citronelle in southwestern Alabama, about 30 miles northwest of Mobile and just over the border from Leakesville, after Dearman’s alleged abuse of his girlfriend Laneta Lester escalated.
Authorities, who arrested Dearman at his father’s house after the killings, allege that Lester initially fled from her boyfriend on Friday afternoon after he physically abused her.
Dearman tracked her down at a relative’s house on Saturday after 1:00 a.m. local time, and a 911 call was placed from someone inside the house, alerting the police to the presence of Dearman.
When cops showed up, he was gone, and the officers on scene couldn’t find him.
Tragically, after officers left, it appears Dearman came back to the home. Before 6:00 a.m., he shot and killed five people as they slept, and then took Lester — and the couple’s baby — with him in escape.
Per AL.com, the victims are Robert Lee Brown (26), Chelsea Marie Reed (22), Justin Kaleb Reed (23), Joseph Adam Turner (26), and Shannon Melissa Randall (35).
Officers wouldn’t directly confirm what Dearman’s relationship was to the people in the house, other than Lester, but they did say Chelsea Reed was five months pregnant. A four-month-old baby was found alive and unharmed at the scene.
Later that morning, Dearman apparently had a moment of sanity, because he drove to his father’s house in Leakesville, released Lester and the baby unharmed, and turned himself into the Greene County (MS) Sheriff’s office.
Mobile (AL) County Sheriff’s Captain Paul Burch spoke to reporters about the crime scene, which he called “horrific,” and noted that the situation “appears to be domestic related,” as reported.
As for why Citronelle officers couldn’t find Dearman during their first trip to the house after 1:00 a.m., Burch said the home is in a heavily wooded area, and:
“It would be really easy for someone to disappear quickly.”
Burch did note on Sunday that Dearman, who is now awaiting extradition to Alabama, was cooperative with authorities, for whatever that’s worth.
Regardless, what a brutal, unimaginable, and completely shocking crime.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this sickening, senseless tragedy.
[Image via Facebook.]