Derrick Dearman, a 28-year-old man from Leakesville, Mississippi, who murdered five people in cold blood as they slept and kidnapped his girlfriend, has blamed his senseless killings on meth, CBS News is reporting. Dearman, who has been indicted on six counts of capital murder including the unborn child of one of his victims, told reporters Monday, as he was escorted to jail, “Don’t do drugs.”
Dearman, a perennial troublemaker with a protracted criminal record, had allegedly traced his girlfriend, Laneta Lester, to a remote residence; she was hiding after she fled the house she was sharing with him after another bout of domestic violence. A family of five people had been sheltering the 24-year-old woman in Citronelle, Alabama.
Derrick had arrived at the house midnight Friday but ran away after someone called the police. According to the Sheriff’s department, he returned “between 1:15 a.m. and daylight,” broke into the house and murdered five adult people. He had shot them and bludgeoned them afterward with an ax.
The deceased were identified as Joseph Turner, 27; Shannon Randall, 35; Robert Brown, 26; Justin Reed, 23; and Chelsea Reed, 22, who was five months pregnant. The house belonged to Turner and Randall.
After the gruesome murders, Derrick had abducted his girlfriend and a 3-month-old baby of one of his victims. He had taken them both to his father’s home in Mississippi, he later released them and handed himself over to the police.
Dearman who was taken back to Alabama from Mississippi, Monday, clad in yellow jail scrubs and escorted by deputies admitted that he was on methamphetamine when he went to the Turner and Randall residence, but released his girlfriend and the infant child when the drug wore off.
“Drugs made me think things that are not really there. I came down and realized what was really going on. I turned myself in because I was sober and knew what was the right thing to do.”
In the video captured by press cameras, Dearman, expressed regret to the family members he caused pain and an undying love for Laneta Lester.
According to an anonymous source, Laneta’s parents disapproved of her relationship with Dearman and eventually kicked her out when she continued to see him. Friends had also responded vehemently online when they discovered the two were dating.
Charles Passarelli Jr, who temporarily provided a place for Lester and Dearman to stay near Leakesville, said Derrick was always high on drugs and would always beat the crap of Laneta even when they were out in the open. Crystal Dearman, his ex-wife who separated from him in 2013 because of physical abuse said she woke up one day with a “knife to my throat in bed.
Capt. Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sherriff’s Department said the crime was of a magnitude that had not been seen in southern Alabama.
“The victims had the kind of injuries that were a result of what experts’ term “overkill,” or excessive violence and there was a massive amount of blood at the crime scene.”
Mobile County District Attorney, Ashley Rich said in more than 2 decades as a prosecutor she had never come across such a crime with people “brutally and viciously murdered.”
Trey Oliver, the jail warden revealed that Dearman would be kept away from the general population and placed on “suicide watch” after telling news reporters that he had no right to keep on living after what he had done.
A spokesperson for the Mobile County Sheriff said Derrick Dearman was in contempt of court for not paying child support and was wanted in southern Alabama for burglary.
[Photo by George County Sherrif’s Department/AP Images]