DONNIE LEE ABERNATHY

DONNIE LEE ABERNATHY 

Cherokee County District Court Judge Wesley Mobley, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, issued a no bond order for triple murder suspect Donnie Lee Abernathy.

According to Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, Abernathy appeared before Judge Mobley on Tuesday for a bond hearing. Abernathy is charged with capital murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and first degree criminal mischief in a triple homicide that occurred early Monday morning, Nov. 16. Judge Mobley issued a no bond order on the capital murder charge and bonds of $250,000 each on the attempted murder and kidnapping charges.

As a result, Abernathy will not be released from the Cherokee County Detention Center before trial, Shaver said.

Reports indicated that a child custody dispute turned violent Monday and claimed the lives of three women in Cherokee County, Alabama.

A fourth person was injured during the incident and the perpetrator allegedly kidnapped a fifth person before he fled the scene on County Road 656 in the Round Mountain community north of Cedar Bluff, reports said.

Sheriff Jeff Shaver said Abernathy, 38, of Centre, was captured after a five-mile chase that ended in a wreck. Abernathy is charged with three counts of capital murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree criminal mischief and attempting to elude.

Cherokee County Coroner Jeremy Deaton identified the dead women as Clara Lee Edwards, 68; Sylvia Sue Duffe, 71; and Pamela Collette Oshel, 49.

Edwards and Duffe were sisters. Police said Oshel was the daughter of one and the kidnapped woman was a granddaughter, reports said.

A man, whose name was not released Monday, was flown to UAB Hospital in Birmingham with undisclosed injuries, Deaton said.

Shaver said the Cherokee County Major Crimes Unit is leading the investigation and additional charges may be filed against Abernathy, who was in a relationship with the woman he abducted from the scene.

“They have a child together and they had been involved in a child custody issue and domestic disputes for a period of time,” Shaver added.

The child was not at the residence at the time of the incident.

Shaver stated that all five of the victims were living at the same residence in the community, which is made up primarily of seasonal homes. The 911 center in Centre got three calls for assistance from the home within a five-minute period, shortly after midnight Monday morning.

As Abernathy was fleeing the scene, his vehicle struck a deputy’s car

.“I was behind the investigator’s vehicle and he nearly hit me head on,” Shaver said.

The chase, involving at least four law enforcement vehicles, headed toward Sand Rock but ended in a wreck. The kidnapped woman, who was in the car at the time, was treated at a hospital and released.

Abernathy, who also was treated for injuries sustained in the wreck, is being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Deaton said the bodies of Edwards, Duffe and Oshel were taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science office in Huntsville for autopsies.

On Monday, Shaver issued a release stating that three people were killed and another was wounded shortly after midnight Monday, Nov. 16 2015, at a residence on County Road 664 near the Round Mountain community and more details were released throughout the day as agents learned more.

Officers from all local police agencies, Cherokee County Major Crimes Unit, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and Coroner Jeremy Deaton responded to the scene. The JSU Center for Applied Forensics processed the crime scene. This case is being investigated by the Cherokee County Major Crimes Unit

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