Police say man killed wife, five others

The Associated PressJuly 20, 2009 

— A Tennessee man faces homicide charges in the slayings of his wife, her father, brother and teenage son, along with two other people in two states, authorities said Sunday.

The bodies of the relatives, along with a teenage neighbor, were found Saturday in two rural homes near Fayetteville, about 90 miles south of Nashville, said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A sixth body discovered at a business about 30 miles south in Huntsville, Ala., has not been identified, and authorities have not said how the killings are linked.

Jacob Shaffer, 30, of Fayetteville faces six counts of homicide. His motive was described as domestic by TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm.

She identified the victims as Shaffer's wife, 38-year-old Traci Shaffer; her son, 16-year-old Devin Brooks; her brother, 34-year-old Chris Hall; her father, 57-year-old Billy Hall; and a neighbor, 16-year-old Robert Berber. Jacob Shaffer was being held in the Lincoln County jail without bond. No lawyer was listed for him at the jail.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said Saturday that his department was investigating three crime scenes and would not confirm the causes of death in what he called "horrendous" killings and "one of the worst crimes Lincoln County has seen." Autopsies were being performed Sunday.

Helm said the Tennessee victims were killed Friday night or early Saturday.

Shaffer was sitting on the porch of one of the Fayetteville houses when authorities first arrived Saturday.

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