MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Convicted mass murderer Derrick Dearman returned to Mobile County Metro Jail ahead of a hearing to vacate several convictions.
Dearman is on death row at Holman Prison in Atmore after receiving a death sentence in October 2018.
In August 2016, Dearman killed five people including a pregnant woman during a meth-fueled rampage at a home in Citronelle. Dearman shot up crystal meth, also known as ice, before using an axe and a gun to slaughter the victims in their sleep.
After the murders, Dearman kidnapped his estranged girlfriend — who was staying at the home to escape what she called an abusive relationship with Dearman — and left with her and a child of two victims. He drove them to Mississippi where he released them and surrendered to law enforcement.
Dearman later said he spared their lives because he came down from his high and began to realize what he had done.
In September 2018, Dearman was convicted of ten counts of capital murder. That number was higher than the number of victims because there were overlapping charges of capital murder committed during a burglary and capital murder of multiple people.
Dearman appealed with the argument that some of the convictions violated double jeopardy rules preventing the conviction on multiple capital murder charges involving the same people.
In August 2022, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals released an opinion remanding the case to Mobile Circuit Court to vacate four of the ten capital murder convictions.
The opinion stated the death sentences on the remaining convictions were the proper sentences.
Dearman was transferred from Holman Prison and booked into Mobile County Metro Jail on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.
A hearing to vacate the four capital murder convictions is scheduled for Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 1 p.m.