The woman charged with helping the suspect in a Danville-area triple murder admitted to providing assistance to him, according to police, and was released from jail Friday on $30,000 bail.

April Peden Hanner, 44, is charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Decatur police allege she assisted Carson Ray Peters in evading law enforcement for two days after the shooting deaths of three people Sunday.

Peters, 58, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Teresa Lynn Peters, 53, of Danville; and her sister, Tammy Renee Smith, 50, of Danville; and James Edward Miller, 55, of Lacey’s Spring, Smith’s boyfriend.

In search warrant affidavits filed in Morgan County District Court on Friday, Decatur police Detective Sean Mukaddam explained his need for Verizon cellphone data from the phones of Hanner and Peters.

According to Mukaddam, Peters spoke to police shortly after he turned himself in at about 3 p.m. Tuesday and said he had been with Hanner after the shootings.

"As the interview with Peters was being conducted, Hanner was placed into custody and also provided a post-Miranda Warning statement," Mukaddam wrote. "Hanner outlined she assisted Peters after the incident."'

In separate affidavits, police said Peters at some point hid in a cave near the shootings, which took place at the home Peters owns at 68-70 Flint Creek Private Drive, and then returned to the scene of the crime sometime after police left at 3:30 a.m. Monday.

The affidavit filed Friday alleges he then left the area.

The investigation, Mukaddam wrote, indicates that "Hanner assisted Peters in fleeing the area of the scene (on Monday)."

Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell approved the search warrant for data from the two phone numbers, including GPS information that Mukaddam said "can prove or disprove the information provided to law enforcement."

In a hardship affidavit filed to obtain a court-appointed lawyer, Hanner listed the same Falkville address as Carson Peters' son. In a previously filed affidavit, police alleged Carson Peters was living in a camper trailer behind his son's house at the time of the shootings. Before she gave the Falkville address, court documents show her as residing in Trinity, then Hartselle. 

Her appointed lawyer, Jim Smith, on Friday said he had not met with his client but was familiar with the basic allegations against her.

"It sounds like the charge was an excuse to hold her, to interrogate her," Smith said. "They're trying to lean on her, which is pretty typical police procedure. I think the charge could be fairly defensible."

Her preliminary hearing is set for July 15.

Carson Peters' lawyer, Tom DiGiulian, did not return a call Friday.

Police have said the shootings arose from a "domestic/family situation."

Carson Peters and Teresa Peters got married in August 2017, according to Morgan County Probate Court records. Carson Peters filed a complaint for divorce in January and as of March they resided together at 68 Flint Creek Private Drive, but in separate rooms, according to court records. 

Three days before the shootings, Teresa Peters filed a motion for contempt alleging her husband entered the house at 68 Flint Creek Private Drive, removed her personal belongings and the air conditioning units, and locked them in a shed on the property.

Carson Peters had previously lived at the same address with a former wife. She filed for divorce in 2014, alleging he "exhibited obsessively jealous conduct." The former wife said that on Aug. 11, 2014, he physically injured her, and a family member took her to the emergency room. According to the divorce pleadings, Carson Peters was charged by Decatur police with domestic violence for the incident.

The same former wife was served with a search warrant after the shootings. Police said in affidavits that Carson Peters left his car in the driveway of a house she owns, also on Flint Creek Private Drive, immediately after the shootings and after police spotted him. 

According to police, he hid in a cave near her property before leaving the area with Hanner.

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eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

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