2479 Vaughn Bridge Road

Two capital murder suspects listed 2479 Vaughn Bridge Road in Hartselle as their residence. The house near Oak Ridge Lane and Vaughn Bridge Road appeared abandoned Monday afternoon. [MICHAEL WETZEL/DECATUR DAILY]

Two capital murder suspects in the June 4 slaying of seven people in Valhermoso Springs are back in Morgan County and are on suicide watch in the county jail, authorities said.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Swafford said John Michael Legg, 19, and Frederic Allen Rogers, 22, were returned from the Marion County Jail in Salem, Oregon, on Sunday via a prisoner transport service to Birmingham. He said Morgan deputies escorted the pair to the county jail in Decatur.

Jail records show the pair were booked into jail at 11:14 p.m. Sunday. Rogers was placed in maximum security and Legg in medium security to keep them apart, records show. Capital murder suspects are not granted bail in Alabama and a capital murder sentence is either life in prison without parole or the death sentence.

Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson did not return a call Monday asking if he planned on seeking the death penalty in the case. No court appearances had been set for the two men as of Monday afternoon, according to court records.

Sgt. Anna Jefferson, of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said the suspects were transferred out of the facility in Salem on Sunday morning. While they were in the Marion County Jail for eight days, Jefferson said they had their own cells.

“Due to COVID, all of our adults in custody are housed in individual cells,” she said. “I don’t see that they had any disciplinary issues while they were in our jail.”

Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett said the pair knew the seven victims in the house at 522 Talucah Road, where the fatal shootings occurred. He said Legg and Rogers and three of the people killed, James Wayne Benford, 22, of Decatur, Roger Lee Jones Jr., 20, of Decatur, and Jeramy Wade Roberts, 31, of Athens, were members of a local group called Seven Deadly Sins. Authorities said at a press conference June 21 they did not know much about the group.

Coroner Jeff Chunn identified the other victims as William Zane Hodgin, 18, of Somerville; Tammy England Muzzey, 45, of Valhermoso Springs; Emily Brooke Payne, 21, of Valhermoso Springs; and a female, 17, whose name has not been released because she was a juvenile. County records listed Muzzey and Payne as residents at the house.

Chunn said the seven victims died of multiple gunshot wounds. A dog also was fatally shot in the house, Puckett said.

Jail records list 2479 Vaughn Bridge Road, Hartselle, as the suspects’ address. The residence is owned by Carl T. Legg and Nola J. Legg, according to the Morgan County Revenue Department. On Monday afternoon, the residence near Vaughn Bridge Road and Oak Ridge Road was overgrown and appeared abandoned. 

The suspects were detained by Marion County sheriff’s deputies in Stayton, Oregon, at 12:30 p.m. on June 21 following a traffic stop. They did not resist arrest, according to Jefferson.

SWAT and the Portland, Oregon, FBI assisted in the arrests, she said.

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mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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