Parole denied for man accused of three 2018 Guntersville murders

Jimmy O'Neal Spencer is accused of killing three people while on parole.
Jimmy O'Neal Spencer is accused of killing three people while on parole.((Source: ADOC))
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:19 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - A man accused of killing three people in Guntersville in 2018 was denied parole on Tuesday.

The Board of Pardon and Paroles voted to deny parole for Jimmy O’Neal Spencer on August 9.

Spencer was granted parole in November 2017 before he allegedly committed three murders in 2018. Four years later Spencer was up for parole again.

Spencer’s record spans several decades and multiple felonies. He first went to prison in the early 1980s.

According to Attorney General Steve Marshall, Spencer received his first life-in-prison sentence in 1989. In 1993, after escaping from custody and committing a number of other crimes while on the run, Spencer received his second life-in-prison sentence.

“I am pleased that the Board has denied Jimmy Spencer parole for the crimes for which he is currently serving two life sentences,” said Attorney General Marshall. “But his case continues to highlight fatal flaws in Alabama’s criminal laws. Under no circumstance should a man serving two life sentences and awaiting trial on three capital-murder charges ever be eligible for parole.

“We must strengthen Alabama’s criminal laws, which—as cases like this and those of Austin Patrick Hall illustrate—are too promiscuous with regard to public safety. I plan to work with the Legislature to correct that, to the end of keeping violent criminals incarcerated and innocent citizens safe.”

Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement on Monday about the possibility of Spencer receiving parole. She said that Spencer was wrongly granted parole in November 2017 and to parole him again would be ‘dangerous and downright despicable.’

“Today is a time to return our focus to this particular case, and in doing so, to ensure that Spencer is never again able to harm innocent people,” Gov. Ivey said in the letter. “By any measure, Spencer is unworthy of parole. He has proven that he is a danger to the public and cannot be trusted in any way. His first award of parole was a grievous error, with deadly consequences for three precious lives. The Board simply cannot parole Spencer a second time.”

Spencer will be up for parole review next in 2027.

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