Alleged shooter in murder-for-hire case to stand trial in October 

By David Gambino 

For the Enquirer  

 The alleged shooter in a 2020 murder-for-hire plot that left a Hartselle man dead is expected to be the first, among five accused, to stand trial on Oct. 16, according to his defense attorney. 

Logan Delp, 39, is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Anthony Larry Sheppard, 41. Hartselle police found Sheppard dead inside his residence the same day he was supposed to appear in court to hash out custody and visitation issues with the mother of his child, Jaclyn Skuce, 41. 

Skuce is accused of paying Delp $30,000 to kill Sheppard after she found Delp through a fake Facebook account, according to investigators. She’s charged with capital murder. 

Three others accused of being accomplices are also charged with capital murder: Angela Stolz, 37; Aaron Howard, 42; and LaJuhn Smart, 27. 

All five have remained in Morgan County Jail without bond while awaiting trial. On Wednesday, they shuffled with shackles into Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell’s courtroom for a status conference on the cases against them. 

A court order to schedule the trial had not yet been filed as of Thursday afternoon, according to court records; however, Delp’s attorney, Brian White, said the parties decided to begin jury selection on Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. 

“Then we’ll begin the trial in earnest on Oct. 21,” he said. 

District Attorney Scott Anderson said the case looks to be in “a good posture” to proceed to trial. 

“With capital murder cases, everyone has to take extra precaution to make certain that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed,” he said. “If they aren’t, then we have to back up and make sure that we have everyone and everything in place.” 

Robert Tuten, one of Stolz’s attorneys, said his client is looking forward to the case moving along. 

“You know, the evidence is shaping up to look like she’s not as directly involved as everyone first thought when everyone was first arrested,” he said. “Apparently, she was not present when the actual person was killed, so we’re kind of working from that theory at this point.” 

 

Bond attempts 

Bond for capital murder cases is rare in Alabama. Nevertheless, attorneys for Skuce and Howard have tried to secure bond for their clients. 

In a 2022 motion to set bond for Howard, attorney Carl Cole said his client was being held without bond solely because he had been charged with capital murder. 

Cole wrote “that the allegations made against this defendant are that he served as a ‘lookout.’ It is undisputed that he did not pull the trigger. In fact, it is undisputed that he was not at the scene of the crime.” 

At the time, Anderson said the prosecution did not arbitrarily charge Howard with a capital offense, and that the charge should preclude his release on bond. 

In her court order regarding the bond motion, Howell listed several reasons for denying Howard bond: He has a criminal history including drug possession and an out-of-state conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon; Delp told investigators that he used Howard to “get girls and bring them to (him),” thereby indicating a criminal reputation; Howard’s co-defendants said he was paid for assisting in the crime; and the probability of a conviction. 

In Skuce’s case, her attorneys in 2022 attached several letters in support of her character, mainly from community Christian organizations with whom she apparently took classes while incarcerated. 

Most notably, her oldest daughter wrote a letter addressed to Howell. 

“The last time I got to see her was in our living room, over two years ago, in the middle of the night with my mother in handcuffs,” the letter reads. “Our family has been torn apart …. She is a wonderful mother, and all she has done is protect and love us.” 

Howell ultimately denied the bond. 

“There is strong circumstantial evidence regarding motive, the co-defendants who were captured on video shooting Sheppard implicated the defendant, and the defendant admitted that she sought out profile pictures with guns to find someone to contact and that she paid someone to help her,” Howell wrote in her ruling. 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Challenger Matthew Frost unseats longtime Morgan Commissioner Don Stisher

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Cheers to 50 years  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Scott Stadthagen confirmed to University of West Alabama Board of Trustees 

Editor's picks

Hartselle graduate creates product for amputees 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Tigers roar in Athens soccer win

Danville

Local family raises Autism awareness through dirt racing  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Three Hartselle students named National Merit finalists  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan chief deputy graduates from FBI National Academy

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle students collect food for good cause 

Falkville

Falkville to hold town-wide yard sale next month

At a Glance

Danville man dies after vehicle leaves Hudson Memorial Bridge 

Editor's picks

Clif Knight, former Hartselle mayor, Enquirer writer, dies at 88

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Utilities reminds community April is safe digging month 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Teen powerhouse invited to compete in international strongman event

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Azaleas: An Alabama beauty 

Decatur

Master Gardeners plant sale returns in April

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan leaders honored at annual banquet

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local students selected for 2024 Blackburn Institute Class

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle sophomore represents Civil Air Patrol in D.C.  

Editor's picks

Hartselle council hires architect for new fire station, library and event center

At a Glance

PowerGrid Services in Hartselle evacuated for bomb threat

Morgan County

20 under 40: Trey Chowning

Falkville

20 under 40: TJ Holmes

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

20 under 40: Spencer Bell

x