Ad Spot
Special to the Enquirer Morgan County sheriff’s investigator Jordan Byrd goes through case files at his desk.

MCSO investigator: Pandemic didn’t play part in mass killings

By Michael Wetzel

For the Enquirer

Morgan County sheriff’s investigator Jordan Byrd said he’s proud of his work in helping find the defendants in the septuple shooting deaths in Valhermoso Springs in June 2020. The 29-year-old department veteran adds he doesn’t believe COVID-19 played a role in killings.

John Michael Legg, 20, of Hartselle and Frederic Allen Rogers, 23, of Woodville, are accused of going into a known drug house on Talucah Road and firing more than 60 rounds, killing seven occupants of the house and a little dog, June 4, 2020.

It is the single-highest mass fatal shooting in Morgan County’s history and the second-highest in the state.

The two defendants were apprehended 17 days later in Marion County, Oregon.

“COVID was not really a part in that case, I don’t believe,” said Byrd, who is the county’s lead investigator in the case. “Differences were there with (the alleged shooters and at least one of the victims). Things happen. I believe it was going to happen, COVID or not.”

Byrd said he was pleased to tell the seven families of the victims, “we got the guys.”

“Being a part of that and getting closure for the families,” he said. “Putting somebody in jail for that was very rewarding – probably the most rewarding thing in my entire law enforcement career of nine years.”

He said the pandemic has played a role in other shootings and domestic incidents in the area.

“Crime in general has gone up because of COVID,” he said. “People are locked up in the house and not being out as much.”

He added Morgan County’s public support for the department remains strong.

“We have a lot of good people who support us,” he said. “In a bigger county, that might be different, however. That’s very important to us. About 90 percent of our cases are solved with tips from the community.”

He said he worries about bringing COVID-19 into his home.

“I work with people face-to-face and worry about getting COVID and getting the family sick,” he said. “That’s been my biggest worry.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, he said, COVID has impacted investigations about “a 6 or 7.”

He said the bulk of the department’s training and meetings with federal agencies have been virtual.

News

Christmas in the Park enjoyed in Falkville despite rain

News

Somerville woman arrested after threat made in Priceville

News

Officials: Escaped Morgan inmate apparently caused his own death

News

Majority leader Stadthagen sees strength in election of 26 republican legislators

News

Lacey’s Spring community fighting proposed rock quarry

News

Hartselle students participate in character expo

News

Authorities: Gifts in unlocked cars a tempting target so take preventive measures

At a Glance

Three arrested for theft of vehicle in Hartselle

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Christmas parade to be held Thursday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Some concerned over new Hartselle superintendent hire  

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

x