TUSCUMBIA — A Leeds man charged with killing a Colbert County man in 2008 is now accused of trying to hire someone to kill members of the victim’s family, authorities said.
Derek Terrell Burt, 32, 7820 Martin Luther King Drive, Leeds, was indicted in September on five counts of capital murder in connection with the 2008 shooting death of Harry Ricks Sr., who lived on Gate Six Road near Muscle Shoals.
Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said deputies recovered a letter Burt wrote that asks the recipient to kill at least two members of Ricks’ family. As a result, Burt now faces criminal solicitation charges, May said.
Ricks was killed in November 2008 during a home invasion and robbery. Burt was arrested in July in Birmingham.
May said Burt’s letter mentions that two members of the Ricks family saw him without a mask during the home invasion.
“In the letter, Burt said that ‘without witnesses, the state would not have a case,’ referring to having them killed.” May said. “He also asked the person he was sending the letter to for a ‘two-for-one,’ referring to having two people killed.
“He went on to say there was no need to pay a lawyer a dime when it can be handled with a ‘couple of stacks.’”
Stacks is street slang for bullets, May said.
The sheriff added the letter notes that Burt claimed he had money in the bank that he would pay when “the job is done and he got out of jail.”
The sheriff said his investigators and Alabama Bureau of Investigator agents met with the Ricks family and advised them to take precautions.
May said the person Burt appeared to be trying to contact lives out of state. He said authorities in that state have been working with his investigators to find the person.
Burt is being held in the Colbert County Jail without bail.
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