Jimmy Spencer

Jimmy Spencer

Marshall County moved one step closer Tuesday to trying Jimmy O’Neal Spencer for a triple homicide that happened in Guntersville nearly 3 years ago.

Judge Tim Riley set a trial date of January 10, 2022, in the case.

The state is ready to go to trial now. But spencer’s attorney, Robert Tuten of Huntsville, is involved in other high profile cases there through November and there’s no term of court set in December.

450 jurors will be summoned for the trial, a larger than usual number due to the publicity of the case and it being a death penalty case.

Spencer, a parolee who’d fallen through the cracks with the parole system, is accused of capital murder in the deaths of Martha Reliford, 65; 74-year-old Marie Kitchens Martin; and Martin’s 7-year-old grandson, Colton Lee.

The bodies were discovered on Friday the 13th in July of 2018 on Mulberry Street, which is behind Burger King in Guntersville.

Spencer was described as having been in and out of prison for the better part of 20 years. He’d gone missing from a halfway house in the Birmingham area and had made his way to Guntersville, where Reliford reportedly tried to help him.

More details of this week’s hearing will be in Saturday’s paper.

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