MOBILE — A man accused of committing one of the most gruesome mass murders in Alabama history has now filed court documents for a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

It has been little more than a year since Derrick Dearman was arrested and charged for the brutal killing of six people west of Citronelle. With the trail set to begin in less than five months, Dearman’s attorneys filed the legal documents on his behalf on Monday.

Attorneys James Vollmer and Jason Darley, who represent Dearman in the case, filed the notice before the courts using Rule 15 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, noting a special plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

According to court documents, Dearman will undergo a mental examination by a psychiatrist or psychologist who is under contract or employed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation on an out-patient basis. Doctors are expected to return a report to the courts with their determination as to whether Dearman has the “ability to assist in his defense, by consulting with counsel, with a reasonable degree or rational understanding of the facts and the legal procedures pending before the court and mental state at the time of the alleged offense(s).”

While there is no mention of when the examination report is expected to be returned to the courts, the legal documents do note there will be one of two rulings made by the doctors — Dearman could be found to have sufficient mental ability to assist in his defense or they can find that he lacks that ability.

According to court documents, Dearman is believed to have gone to a home on Jim Platt Road, west of Citronelle, on the morning of Aug. 21, 2016.  Dearman is accused of making entry into the small wood frame home and using an axe and a firearm to kill five adults and the unborn child of one of the women.


  1. Tracy Rivers Robinson on August 29, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Being high is not a mental defect if so every drug addict can do whatever they want and get away with it people this man is evil and should die for what he did to my cousins

  2. Sarah Wiggins on August 29, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t understand why, after a year’s time has passed, that this is allowed. Even though his “mental” plea may get the charges dropped or lowered, it is a disgrace to the families of the lost loved ones. I can’t begin to understand what they will go through.

  3. Melissa Grant on August 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Anyone is crazy or insane to do this kind of crime. I hate hearing that used as I defense. I can guarantee you if anyone ever harmed one of my children and I got to them. I’m going to take that defense, because I would be. That going to get me off murder?

  4. John on August 29, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    The dude is violent and always has been. I went to school with him for years and everyone knew he would get that way as soon as another student or teacher would get onto him or say something he didn’t like. The drugs just brought more of that to the surface. Give him the death penalty.

  5. Lauren on August 30, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Own Up To Your 💩 & Stop Playing Crazy! You Took The Lives Of Innocent People Including An Unborn Child..They Should Fry You. Worthless Piece Of 💩.
    They Should Take An Ax & Cut Off All Of Your Limbs And Make You Suffer.

  6. Shirley Essner on August 31, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I have prayed for my family though this year because of him. Look what his classmates have said. He is the lowest form of a human being. Why wait this long? Pray for the family who is left behind and the sweet baby boy!😭

Leave a Comment