BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A former male stripper accused of fatally stabbing and slashing his estranged girlfriend and three other people as they slept spent time in state prison on a child abuse conviction, authorities said Monday.
Scott Lamar Abbott, 24, was freed in October after serving two stints in state custody for a conviction in DeKalb County, according to officials with the Department of Corrections and the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Soon after, 27-year-old Jeri Lyn Cole posted photos on MySpace, a social networking Web site, of herself and a man who appears to be Abbott. The self-described mother of two mentions her relationship with someone named Scott. A photo showing Abbott and a woman who appears to be Cole can be seen on his MySpace page, describing him as being "in love with my woman and future wife."
Cole was found dead in a house in the Birmingham suburb of Hueytown over the weekend with three other people: William Chad Gilbert, 31; Nika Sandlin, 24; and Joshua Gilleo, 26. Abbott is charged with four counts of capital murder in their deaths.
Hueytown Police Chief Chuck Hagler described the scene inside the small, red-brick home as ghastly.
"Everybody was asleep. He moved from room to room," Hagler told reporters, referring to Abbott as a spurned lover.
"It was worse than any horror movie."
At least one person apparently fought back: Abbott was arrested after showing up with what appeared to be knife wounds at a hospital in Gadsden, about 80 miles northeast of the murder scene. Authorities haven't said which victim may have fought back.
Hagler wouldn't say which of the victims was believed to have jilted Abbott.
DeKalb County District Attorney Mike O'Dell said Abbott was familiar to authorities there but declined further comment. Hagler said the 6-foot-7 Abbott had worked as a male stripper.
District Judge Eric Fancher appointed an attorney for Abbott, who verified his identity during a brief hearing held by a video link with the jail in Bessemer. Neither the judge's office nor court clerks said they had immediate access to the name of his lawyer.
He has been denied bond.
Abbott was arrested on a domestic violence charge in the northeast Alabama town of Fort Payne in 2004, records show.
How Abbott pleaded in that case is unclear, but Department of Corrections records show Abbott began serving time for a child abuse conviction in DeKalb County in May 2006 and was released nine months later on condition he stay out of trouble.
Parole records indicate that Abbott violated terms of his release and was sentenced to three years imprisonment for child abuse on Aug. 4, 2008. He arrived in state custody on Sept. 16, and his state booking photo showed him with two black eyes. It was unclear what caused the injury.
With more than 800 days of jail time already behind him, Abbott earned another six months of credit for good behavior and finished his sentence on Oct. 23.