The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

September 16, 2013

Alabama man sentenced for killing witness set to testify in rape trial


Associated Press

CULLMAN — A northern Alabama man accused killing a witness who was set to testify against him in a sex abuse trial has pleaded guilty to capital murder.

William Abbott was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday by Cullman County Circuit Court Judge Greg Nicholas.

Abbott was arrested in the 2010 death of 47-year-old Jerry Allen Martin, of Hanceville. Police save said Martin was going to testify against Abbott, who was accused of raping one of his relatives. Abbott told investigators he shot Martin twice and set his vehicle on fire to try destroying the evidence. Abbott's wife and two of his sons were also charged in Martin's death.