That was just some of the testimony in the preliminary hearing of Jared Smith Bracy, 21, charged with the capital murder of his grandparents, brother and a family friend, on February 22 in the Lake Forest neighborhood of Daphne.
Smith Bracy was led into court handcuffed and heavily guarded. His mother also in court could be heard openly sobbing and whispering his name.
The night of the murders police arrived after getting almost a dozen 911 calls about gunfire at the Melanie Loop home.
Inside the home Leonard Smith, 80, was found at the foot of his bed in the master bedroom, he had been bludgeoned to death with a pick-axe. In the backyard, Barbara Smith, 72, Shelia Glover, 70, and Jeremy Smith, 27, were shot and bludgeoned to death.
Smith Bracy was found hiding in the woods behind the home within minutes of police arriving. Twelve shell casings and a Glock nine-millimeter handgun were also recovered in the backyard. During testimony investigator Jason Vannoy said initially Smith Bracy claimed he was a victim but later confessed saying quote “I had to get them before they got me.”
Defense attorney Thomas Pilcher believes Smith Bracy suffers from a mental disease or defect that led to the quadruple murder.
“We believe that coming to right now there was a break in his normal behavior,” said Pilcher. “I think you heard that today family members that said he was normal this was absent his normal behavior.”
Chief Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz is not so sure.
“I have nothing in my case file that suggests that he has any kind of mental disease or defect and until I do he is absolutely responsible for his criminal conduct,” said Heinz.
Smith Bracy never said a word during the hearing nor made eye contact with his mother who was in the court to support him.
A request by the defense for a mental evaluation of Smith Bracy was delayed by the judge. The case now moves on to a Baldwin County Grand Jury.