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Jacob Shaffer

Jacob Shaffer

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Man charged after 6 found slain in Tenn., Ala.By KRISTIN M.

HALL (AP) â€" 1 hour agoFAYETTEVILLE, Tenn.

— A 30-year-old man was charged with homicide Saturday in the slayings of six people, most believed to be from the same family, in two communities about 30 miles apart in Tennessee and Alabama.Investigators said the victims were four adults and two juveniles, but their names and ages were not being released until they are identified and next of kin are notified.Five people were found dead in two neighboring rural homes near Fayetteville in southern Tennessee Saturday, and a sixth body was discovered at a business in Huntsville, Ala., authorities said.Jacob Shaffer of Fayetteville, who officers found sitting on the front porch of one of the homes, was taken into custody and charged with homicide.

He was jailed without bond in Lincoln County, which borders Alabama.Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an e-mail that Shaffer was charged with five counts of homicide for the Tennessee deaths and faced an additional count in Alabama."Most of the victims are suspected to be related.

The motive of the killings is domestic," Helm said.Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said at a news conference that his department is investigating three crime scenes, though he did not elaborate.

He did not release the victims' names and would not confirm the causes of death.

He also did not release a motive in what he called "horrendous" killings and "one of the worst crimes Lincoln County has seen."Helm said the Tennessee victims were killed Friday night or early Saturday.Huntsville police Sgt.

Mickey Allen, who works for the city's major crimes unit, told TV station WAFF that based on the suspect's information, police found a body at Hall Cultured Marble Granite late Saturday morning.

Authorities have not said how the slayings in the two communities are linked.While authorities have not released the victims' ages, Karon Weatherman, who lives about a half-mile away from the Tennessee homes, said she saw children as young as 4 and 5 running back and forth between the houses across the road from each other.One of the Tennessee homes was once a skating rink that was converted into a duplex, said Weatherman.

She did not know the family but said they moved in earlier this year."I wouldn't expect nothing like this to happen," she said.All phone numbers listed in Huntsville under Jacob Shaffer's name had been disconnected.Fayetteville is a town of 7,000 people about 90 miles south of Nashville near the Tennessee-Alabama border.

Huntsville, about 30 miles south, is the largest city in northern Alabama with more than 170,000 people.Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

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