Police: Five Killed in Alabama Home Were Trying to Protect Girlfriend from Allegedly Abusive Suspect
Derrick Dearman allegedly attacked five people, including a pregnant woman, as they slept
The five people killed Saturday morning inside an Alabama home were attempting to safeguard the suspect’s girlfriend from him because he was allegedly abusive, police say.
According to a statement from the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office obtained by PEOPLE, the girlfriend, Laneta Lester, told investigators she’d been trying to break up with 27-year-old Derrick Dearman for a while and was staying at a relative’s house in Citronelle, Alabama, which was the scene of the killings.
Authorities allege Lester told detectives she wanted to end the relationship because Dearman was allegedly abusive.
Several hours before the killings, police were called by one of Lester’s relatives, who had allegedly spotted Dearman outside the Citronelle house, walking around the surrounding property.
Officers were dispatched to the home but Dearman had allegedly fled the area by the time they’d arrived.
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Later, after the sun went down, Dearman allegedly returned to the home, where he attacked the people inside as they slept, according to the sheriff’s statement. The five people and the unborn child were killed with “firearms and several other weapons,” according to the statement.
After the killings, Dearman, who has been charged with six murder counts, allegedly kidnapped Lester. He also allegedly fled the scene with a 3-month-old baby whose parents he’d just killed, according to investigators.
Dearman allegedly drove Lester and the infant to his father’s home just beyond the Mississippi state line. That’s where Dearman freed Lester and the infant before turning himself in to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi.
As Dearman was turning himself in, Lester brought the infant to the police station in Citronelle, where she told authorities what had happened.
Police identified the victims as Robert Lee Brown, 26; Chelsea Marie Reed, 22; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Joseph Adam Turner, 26; Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; and Chelsea Marie Reed, who was 22 and five months pregnant.
A 4-month old boy also survived the attack, and was found in the home after the killings.
Dearman will be extradited to Alabama sometime this week. He has not entered a plea, and it was unknown Monday whether Dearman has legal representation who could comment on his behalf.