The woman who escaped the brutal murders of five people at a rural Alabama house was hiding there from her abusive lover — who has now been charged with the bloodbath.
Police on Sunday identified Laneta Lester, 24, as the only adult survivor of the massacre near Mobile. Lester escaped with the 3-month-old child of one victim, police said.
Lester’s lover, Derrick Dearman, is now accused of slaughtering five people — including a pregnant woman — and then driving away with Lester and the infant.
Police said Lester was staying with a relative in Citronelle on Saturday “in an attempt to leave an abusive relationship” with Dearman. Someone at the home called police around 1 a.m. Saturday to report Dearman on the property — but he had vanished by the time cops arrived.
Dearman reemerged later in the morning, broke into the home and killed five people while they were sleeping, police said.
Police said several weapons were found at the scene, and some of the victims had been shot.
Dearman then forced Lester and the baby into a car and drove them to his father’s home in Mississippi — where he suddenly surrendered them, police said. Dearman then went with his father to turn himself in.
Derrick Dearman, who has been charged with six counts of murder.
(Mobile County Sheriff’s Office)
He has been charged with six counts of capitol murder.
A woman who said she is Dearman’s ex-wife said she was stunned to learn of the killings.
“According to a news report earlier this afternoon my ex husband is in custody for the murder of five people in citronelle,” Crystal Leann Dearman wrote on Facebook.
“I am writing this post to let everyone that me and my children were not involved and prayers for those involved whoever they are and their friends and family are in order.”
The victims have been identified as Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; Joseph Adam Turner, 26; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Robert Lee Brown, 26; and Chelsea Marie Reed, 22, who was five months pregnant.