Five people are dead and one man is in custody today after authorities say he “attacked” the victims in their sleep, after his girlfriend sought refuge with them from their “abusive relationship.”
According to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Derrick Dearman turned himself into law enforcement personnel in Mississippi, hours after the quintuple murder at 17160 Jim Platt Road in Citronelle.Reportedly, on Aug. 19, Dearman’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Laneta Lester, went to stay with a relative at the address in an attempt to leave the relationship. At approximately 1 a.m. on Aug. 20, someone at the residence called 911 to report Dearman was on their property. Citronelle police responded, but Dearman had left.
Between 1:15 a.m. and daylight, Dearman returned, entered the residence and attacked the victims while they were sleeping. Six adults and a three-month-old were inside at the time and police report “several weapons” may have been used.
Today, the MCSO reported the dead were:
• Robert Lee Brown, 26
• Chelsea Marie Reed, 22 (five months pregnant)
• Justin Kaleb Reed, 23
• Joseph Adam Turner, 26
• Shannon Melissa Randall, 35
Allegedly, after the murders, Dearman forced Laneta and the 3-month-old infant, the child of one of the victims, into a vehicle and drove them to his father’s residence in Mississippi.
Laneta and infant were released unharmed. Dearman and his father went to the Green County Sheriff’s Office to turn himself in, while Laneta took the infant to Citronelle police to provide her account.
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich confirmed Dearman will be facing six capital murder charges — one for each of the adults and the unborn child of Chelsea and Justin Reed.
Rich also said her office would be initiating the extradition process immediately to return to Dearman to Mobile County for prosecution.