- Cullman, Alabama

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September 16, 2013

Abbott pleads guilty to 2010 murder, burning of Hanceville man

CULLMAN — William Abbott pleaded guilty to capital murder on Monday in connection to the killing of a Hanceville man who was believed to be a key witness in an incest case against him.

On Monday morning, Cullman County Circuit Judge Greg Nicholas sentenced Abbott to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2010 murder of Jerry Allen Martin, 47 of Hanceville. Abbott, of Chigger Ridge, admitted to shooting Martin twice and setting his vehicle on fire to destroy the crime scene.

Abbott’s wife, Donna Lane Abbott, and his sons, William Cecil Abbott and Arnold Andrews Abbott, also face capital murder charges for their alleged roles in the November 2010 shooting and burning of Martin. Police said Martin had been set to testify against Abbott in a rape and incest case involving one of Abbott’s female family members.

In pleading guilty to one count of capital murder, the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the two other counts. When Nicholas asked if Abbott had anything to say after the sentencing, he  responded “No sir.” As bailiffs led him out of the court room,  Abbott, who was shackled around his waist, looked back at his stepdaughter, Brenda Moore, and Martin’s brother, Steven Martin, who were visibly distraught in the audience.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s edition of The Cullman Times.


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