Prelim. Hearing Details How Derrick Dearman Began Killing Spree

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A lot of questions have been asked since five people were killed in Citronelle in late August, and this Monday we finally heard some answers about how Derrick Dearman committed such a horrible crime.

“As you heard today in the preliminary hearing, each of the victims were chopped multiple times,” said Ashley Rich, Mobile County District Attorney.

Dearman’s preliminary hearing began with a Mobile County Sheriff’s detective taking the stand.  He briefly explained that Laneta Lester was trying to get away from Dearman, and went to stay with her brother.  The night before the murders, Dearman was asked to leave the property.  He would later come back and reach through a window and woke up Laneta Lester who had been sleeping on an air mattress near the window.  She went outside and talked to him, but told him they were over. He left, but not too far.  The detective says he then found an ax in the yard, and took a screwdriver to force open a sliding glass door.  He later used the ax to injure all of the victims.

“This is basically six crime scenes,” said Rich.

Justin Reed tried to defend himself with a gun, but Dearman managed to take that away, and later used it to shoot the victims.  He would also later find a shotgun to use during his spree.

“The only evidence and testimony that you’ve heard today were only from the detective as to what Laneta told him, what Derrick told him,” said James Vollmer, Dearman’s Attorney.

Lester woke up to gunshots.  She rushed to find a phone with service to call for help, and that’s when she found her brother Adam Turner had been shot.  Lester then picks up Turner’s baby to flee, but Dearman finds keys to a truck and forces the three to go with him to Mississippi.  They make stops along the way, at homes of friends and family.  They told one friend they had hit a deer but didn’t give any more details away.

“Well I think that it’s certainly something that needs to be looked at I believe that there’s a lot more to the story,” said Vollmer.

Lester finally escaped when Dearman stopped at his father’s home.  That’s where his father urged him to turn himself in.

“Drugs making me think things that were not really there happening to happen,” said Dearman in a past interview as we were led away to jail.

Dearman has pleaded not guilty.

“Again there will be more evidence that will come forward at the trial regarding the domestic violence,” said Ashley Rich.

Judge Roderick Stout ruled there was probable cause and has sent the case to a grand jury.  And that could take up to 8 months.

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