- Cullman, Alabama

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September 17, 2013

William Cecil Abbott pleads guilty in Chigger Ridge murder, sentenced to 17 years

CULLMAN — William Cecil Abbott pleaded guilty today for his involvement in the 2010 murder of Jerry Allen Martin of Hanceville and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Abbott pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in Cullman County Circuit Judge Greg Nicholas’ courtroom this morning. Before taking the plea, Abbott faced a capital murder trial and the death penalty if convicted for his role in the shooting of Martin, 47, in November 2010. Abbott’s father, William Henry Abbott, of Chigger Ridge, pleaded guilty Monday to capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he admitted to shooting Martin twice in a vehicle and then burning his body to destroy the crime scene.

Police said Martin had been set to testify against William Henry Abbott in a rape and incest case involving one of Abbott’s female family members.

William Henry Abbott’s wife, Donna Lane Abbott, and his other son, Arnold Andrews Abbott, also face capital murder charges for their alleged roles in the murder.

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