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Five face capital murder indictments

By Staff Reports  

The five people who were arrested in September of this past year and charged with capital murder in the death of Anthony Larry Sheppard have been indicted on those charges.  

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 a press release by Morgan County district attorney Scott Anderson.  

Records show all the defendants are in Morgan County Jail except Delp, who is in Madison County Jail. 

Officers with the Hartselle Police Department were dispatched to Sheppard’s home at 450 Dawson St., in Hartselle, as a part of a welfare check July 24, 2020. Sheppard was scheduled to appear in court that morning, according to Anderson, regarding custody and visitation issues with Skuce, the mother of his child.  

Officers found Sheppard deceased in his home, with multiple gunshot wounds.  

In a previous hearing, Hartselle investigator Tania Burgess testified that Skuce contracted with Delp to murder Sheppard, and the other defendants played a role in the murder for hire.  

The indictment returned by the grand jury charges the defendants with the three counts of capital murder.  

The first count is based upon the murder for hire, the second upon the murder of a witness scheduled to appear in court and the third upon the murder occurring as a result of the shooting into an occupied dwelling.  

According to testimony by Burgess at a preliminary hearing in September, several witnesses said 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.  

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. 

“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 present it to a jury,” Anderson said. “We will do our best to get these cases to trial as quickly as possible.” 

Marian Accardi contributed to this report. 

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