Suspect in Citronelle mass murder confesses; blames drugs

Suspect in Citronelle mass murder confesses; blames drugs
McWhirter was able to contain Dearman in a holding cell while she called authorities in Citronelle to confirm his confession. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Derrick Dearman (Photo: Mobile County Sheriff's Office / WALA)
Derrick Dearman (Photo: Mobile County Sheriff's Office / WALA)

(WLOX) - After reportedly admitting to killing five people and an unborn baby in Alabama on Aug. 20, a Leakesville, Miss. man is behind bars without bond.

Authorities say 27-year-old Derrick Dearman turned himself in at the Greene County Sheriff's Office on Saturday.

"All he said was 'I killed some people last night in Citronelle.' At that time I got up, went around, unlocked the door, and put him into custody," said Charmon McWhirter, the dispatcher on duty the night Dearman turned himself in. "I know Derek; I've known him for a very long time. I thought he was there to turn himself in on just a regular DHS warrant."

McWhirter was able to contain Dearman in a holding cell while she called authorities in Citronelle to confirm his confession.

The Mobile County District Attorney's Office says Dearman is charged with six counts of capital murder and two counts of kidnapping, which includes one murder charge for an unborn child.

Police say Dearman went to a home in Citronelle as friends and family members of his estranged girlfriend, Laneta Lester, slept. He then reportedly killed five adults and an unborn infant with an ax and guns; sparing Lester, but taking her from the home.

People in the town of Leakesville - population around 1,000 - say they are shocked by the murders.

One resident of 60 years said, "I'm not going to comment on what I think about him. I know who he is, and everything like that. It's just sad that it had to happen."

Dearman told reporters he blames being high on drugs for his actions, and that he spared his estranged girlfriend's life because as he came down from a high, he realized what he was doing.

Dearman also apologized to family members of the victims, saying that he knew turning himself in was the right thing to do.

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