Madison woman, four others, indicted for capital murder in Hartselle shooting death
MORGAN COUNTY – Five people, including two from Madison, were indicted this week on three counts of capital murder in the July 24 fatal shooting of Anthony Larry Sheppard, 41, at his Hartselle home, Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson announced today.
The defendants — Logan McKinley Delp, 36, and Jaclyn Skuce, 38, both of Madison; Aaron Howard, 40, of Toney; and LaJuhn Keith Smart, 25, and Angela Stolz, 34, both of Huntsville — are all incarcerated without bond, according to Anderson. Records show all the defendants are in Morgan County Jail except Delp, who is in Madison County Jail.
Hartselle police officers were dispatched July 24 to 450 Dawson St. to conduct a welfare check on Sheppard, who was scheduled to be in court earlier that day and had failed to appear, according to Anderson. Officers found Sheppard in his home, deceased from multiple gunshot wounds.
After an investigation, Hartselle police investigator Tania Burgess obtained arrest warrants for each defendant on a charge of capital murder.
Skuce is the mother of Sheppard’s child and she and Sheppard were due to appear in court regarding custody and visitation issues on the day of the murder, according to Anderson. Testimony by Burgess at a preliminary hearing in September detailed statements by several witnesses that Skuce used a fake Facebook account to find Delp and she then met with him to arrange the killing. She gave him three payments totaling $30,000, according to the investigator’s testimony.
“This is one of the most complex criminal cases I’ve encountered in my 30-year career, but I look forward to the opportunity to try it and presenting it to a jury,” Anderson said today. “We will do our best to get these cases to trial as quickly as possible.”
Burgess described Delp as the shooter, Howard as the lookout and Skuce as the instigator, and Stolz was in the backseat of the vehicle “providing support.” Authorities have said Smart was the getaway driver.
Anderson said the indictment returned by a Morgan County grand jury charges the defendants with three counts of capital murder. The first count is based on murder for hire, the second count is based on the murder of a witness scheduled to appear in court and the third count is based on the murder occurring as a result of shooting into an occupied dwelling.