Martha Reliford

Birth: June 22, 2000
Death: July 13, 2018


Martha Dell Reliford 65 of Guntersville passed away July 13, 2018 at her residence.

Martha grew up in Union Grove and was a graduate of Arab High School. She has been a residence of Guntersville for past 23 years. She was member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Martha loved coaching basketball it was her pride and joy besides her family. She had been fighting cancer for the last 26 years, and was a vigourus Advocate for VOCAL “Victims of Crime & Leniency” , Martha was a very loving and caring individual who looked out for the under dog. She loved her family and spending time with them. She was of the Baptist Faith.

Martha is survived by her Sisters: Barbara Kelley (Bill), Patsy Humphries Freeman (Fred), Nellie Hill And Dorthy Hayesl And a Host of nieces,nephews, family and friends

She is Preceded in death by her Mother and Father: Pat Reliford Sr. and Idell “Pannell” Reliford Brothers: Grady Rutherford and Pat Reliford Jr.; Sister: Ruby Reliford Harbin

Visitation will be held Friday evening , Setember 7, 2018 at Guntersville Memorial Chapel from 6:00p.m. until 8:00p.m.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Mt.Olive Baptist Church at 2:00p.m.

Burial will follow at Mt.Olive Baptist Church Cemetery

Criminal Details

The Arab Tribune
By Charles Whisenant – July 20, 2018

Martha Reliford, third sibling to be murdered

One has to wonder if the Reliford family is cursed.

Martha Reliford was one of three people killed in Guntersville last Friday in what Guntersville police are calling four cases of capital murder.

Reliford grew up in Parches Cove near Union Grove. She is the third member of her family to be murdered. Police haven’t said yet exactly how she died.

In 2007, her sister Ruby Hardin, was shot and killed in Huntsville, and in 1995, their brother, Pat Reliford Jr., was shot and killed in Parches Cove.

Jimmy O’Neal Spencer, 52, a homeless ex-convict, is accused of the four murders in Guntersville.

Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson said Spencer is originally from Franklin County but had been in the Guntersville area since about January, sleeping on park benches and occasionally in a motel room.

Spencer spent more than 20 years in prison on burglary charges.

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Criminal Details
By Laura Christmas – December 13, 2018

Five months later, a look into the Guntersville triple murder investigation

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — It’s been exactly five months since a triple murder shocked the quiet city of Guntersville. Two scenes, one neighborhood. It was a case that shook every officer working.

Investigators say Marie Martin was looking after her great-grandson, seven-year-old Colton Lee, at her home on Mulberry Street in July when she was strangled and stabbed. Colton was killed by blunt force trauma. Days earlier, investigators say her neighbor, Martha Dell Reliford, had been hit in the head with the back flat part of a hatchet and stabbed.

Shortly after the investigation started, Guntersville police officers arrested Jimmy O’Neal Spencer and charged him with capital murder. Not long after that, a grand jury indicted him on capital murder charges.

Spencer is not from Guntersville, and was homeless at the time of the murders. He spent years in Alabama prisons and was facing a life term. The state paroled Spencer in January and sent him to a Birmingham halfway house, which he later left – something his parole officer didn’t know.

Now, five months later, Spencer is back in prison and investigators are still working the case – which is far from over.

“Certainly, the bulk of the investigation is done. Like I say, an investigation in a case like this is never over. It will go on right on up to trial,” explained Marshall County District Attorney Everette Johnson. He said he isn’t aware of any real tips investigators are following up on. “What the police are in the process of doing, as well as the rest of us, is just maintaining, and analyzing, and organizing the evidence that we already have,” Johnson said. He added investigators will work any new information that becomes available.

Officials are also waiting on continued analysis of forensic evidence and the final autopsies on the victims. “The physical scene, the physical evidence from the initial investigation, makes it clear how these victims died, and we will be waiting the final autopsy reports,” Johnson said. He added the autopsy can reveal details they didn’t know.

In the summer, investigators searched an area along Highway 79 and found some things taken into evidence, but officials didn’t release what those items were but called them articles of value. Investigators also didn’t comment if they’ve found the murder weapon or weapons. A lot of evidence is sent off to forensics to be analyzed and Johnson stressed this case is far from over.

Spencer pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The defense filed a motion for psychiatric evaluation. He’s scheduled to be in court on March 4. The state is seeking the death penalty.

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