Cherokee County triple murder suspect held on no bond

Donnie Lee Abernathy

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver said that Donnie Lee Abernathy has been charged with capital murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and first degree criminal mischief. Abernathy will be held in the Cherokee County Detention Center with no bond.

According to Shaver, Judge Mobley issued a “no bond order” on the capital murder charge, and set bonds of $250,000 each on the attempted murder and kidnapping charge.

ORIGINAL: Three women are dead, one man is injured, and another man is behind bars on capital murder and kidnapping charges in Cherokee County. Sheriff Jeff Shaver says it is the result of a domestic dispute that turned violent near the Round Mountain community.

Donnie Lee Abernathy is being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center. Shaver says they got a call from a home on County Road 656, from a man who claimed Abernathy shot him and three women who lived at the home.

When deputies got there, Shaver says Abernathy hit one of the vehicles, trying to get out of the driveway. He then tried to escape authorities, who took him into custody after a six-minute, five-mile chase. When investigators got back to the house, they found the bodies of 68-year-old Clara Edwards, 71-year-old Sylvia Duffe, and 49-year-old Pamela Oshel. The man who lived at the home was a family friend who has not been identified.

“It’s a bad situation for everyone involved. It’s tragic. There are really no words to describe it,” said Shaver, who said it appears Abernathy was upset over the child custody arrangement with the woman he allegedly abducted, who was the mother of his child.

Bob Gilliland says he knew the homeowner, the grandmother of the woman Abernathy allegedly kidnapped.

“She as a real nice lady. She was real nice,” said Gilliland, who lived nearby. He says the murders have shocked this small community.

“You come up here out in the country and you think there’s no people out here, a nice, quiet place to live and then something stupid like this happens,” he said.

Officials with Cherokee County’s newly-formed Major Crimes Unit are working this case. That includes law enforcement from all municipalities in the city.

Sheriff Shaver says the child was not at home during the shootings and is now with the mother. Stay with WIAT 42 News for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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