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Ala. police: Man gets ride home from jail, then kills 3 relatives and friend

A veteran officer called the killing “horrific,” saying “it’s the worst one I’ve seen, certainly in 22 years”


Photo/Daphne Police Department

By Madeleine List
The Charlotte Observer

DAPHNE, Ala. — A man killed his grandmother, grandfather, brother and a family friend after getting a ride home from jail, according to Alabama police.

Officers went to the home just after 6 p.m. on Feb. 22 and arrested Jared Tarant Smith-Bracy, 21, who was hiding in a wooded area behind the house, according to the Daphne Police Department.

Three of the victims, Smith-Bracy’s 27-year-old brother, his 72-year-old grandmother and a 71-year-old family friend, were found dead in the backyard, Sgt. Jason Vannoy with the Daphne Police Department said during a Feb. 23 news conference broadcast on Fox 10.

Smith-Bracy’s 80-year-old grandfather had been bludgeoned to death with a pickaxe in his bedroom, Vannoy said.

Vannoy said during the news conference that Smith-Bracy had been arrested around 9 a.m. that day on a charge of criminal mischief related to damaging a door at his home.

He paid a cash bond and got a ride back from jail at around 5 p.m., Vannoy said.

As soon as the car he was in pulled up to the house, he grabbed a gun in the car and went inside, Vannoy said. The gun was legally owned by the person who dropped Smith-Bracy off, according to Vannoy.

Smith-Bracy shot three victims in the backyard before going into the bedroom and bludgeoning his grandfather to death with a pickaxe, Vannoy said.

When the driver who had dropped Smith-Bracy off heard the shots, he called 911 and drove to a police precinct where he waited to be interviewed by investigators, Vannoy said.

After killing his grandfather in the bedroom, Smith-Bracy then went back outside and bludgeoned the three people he had shot, Vannoy said. Investigators do not know if any of those victims were still alive at the time they were bludgeoned.

After Smith-Bracy was arrested, Vannoy said he was “very cooperative in his interview, very polite, but showed no remorse.”

Smith-Bracy faces four counts of capital murder, according to Baldwin County Jail records. The charge carries a potential penalty in Alabama of 10 years to life in prison or the death penalty.

Smith-Bracy is being held without bond, according to jail records.

Vannoy called the killing “horrific” during the news conference.

“It’s the worst one I’ve seen, certainly in 22 years,” he said.

Daphne is about 170 miles southwest of Montgomery.

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