Judge finds probable cause in case of man accused of stabbing Huntsville mother to death

20-year-old and girlfriend charged in murder of Tiffany Kelley

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The case a man charged in the murder of a South Huntsville woman is moving forward in the court system, as new details emerged during his preliminary hearing.

X’Zavier Kamontae Scott, 20, appeared in court on Wednesday.

The judge ruled that there was enough evidence to advance his case to a Madison County grand jury.

Scott’s girlfriend, 17-year-old Domanek Lane Jackson, is also charged with Kelley’s murder. Jackson is being charged as an adult. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 5.

Scott and Jackson were captured in September. The couple were arrested in Clark County, Alabama and later extradited to Huntsville.

Police say Scott and Jackson were in Huntsville for about two weeks before Kelley’s murder in September. Investigators told the judge that Kelley encountered Scott and Jackson at the Dollar General near the intersection of SW Green Cove Road and Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. The couple reportedly asked for a ride and Kelley agreed to help.

Kelley was later found stabbed to death on Green Cove Road. Her body was left in the road and her car was stolen.

Authorities recovered Kelley’s car when they took Scott and Jackson into custody in Clarke County.

Authorities say Scott and his girlfriend traveled to Clarke County to stay at Scott’s cousin’s home. The cousin knew nothing about Kelley’s murder, according to police.

A knife was recovered. The pair did try to clean the car, but investigators say evidence was recovered.

It’s unclear if the recovered weapon was used to kill Kelley.

(Source: Clarke County Sheriff's Office)

In court on Wednesday, Huntsville police Investigator Dave Mullins testified that Kelley was stabbed multiple times in the neck as she was driving.

When Jackson was first interviewed by authorities in Clarke County, she told them she stabbed Kelley, but then later changed her story and said her boyfriend did it.

When Scott was interviewed, he said his girlfriend did it, and his story has not changed.

The couple said they hitchhiked to Huntsville, getting rides from different people.

Jackson was a runaway. She was not happy at home so they ran as far away as they could.

When Kelley allowed them to get in her car to give them a ride, she started driving back to her house to get her license and pick up her husband and as she was turning onto her street, she was attacked.

The couple took her car and fled back to Clarke County and that’s where they were caught.

Mullins thanked the citizens of Clarke County who provided tips with important information and expressed gratitude to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office for all of their help with the investigation and capture of the suspects.

Sheriff Ray Norris and his deputies have located the stolen car belonging to Tiffany Dawn Kelley in the Walker Springs area.

Posted by Clarke County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

“Huntsville Police would like to thank Sheriff Norris and all other agencies involved for their cooperation in the capture of X’Zavier Scott and his juvenile accomplice,” Huntsville Police said in a press release. "This is a great example of information sharing between multiple agencies leading to a swift apprehension of violent offenders. Our Major Crimes investigators have been working diligently, around the clock, to bring this criminal investigation to a peaceful resolution. "

[READ MORE: Suspect sought in Huntsville woman’s murder; victim’s car stolen]

Tiffany Kelley
Tiffany Kelley (Source: Family)

Sheriff Norris said Scott was spotted in the victim’s stolen car near his hometown in Clarke County. He said they were seen by a citizen, who Scott’s girlfriend reached out to and said her boyfriend had killed someone in Huntsville. Scott then reportedly forced her back into the car and drove off.

SHERIFF RAY NORRIS REPORTS THAT HE, ALONG WITH CHIEF DEPUTY VIRGIL CHAPMAN, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR RON BAGGETTE, AND...

Posted by Clarke County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Norris said they worked with the Huntsville Police Department to connect Scott to Kelley’s murder. He said HPD has been very cooperative and provided evidence linking Scott to the crime.

“It’s all tied together pretty good today,” Norris said.

Norris said they got information that Scott had warrants for interference with custody.

Kelley’s family applauded the efforts of law enforcement to track the couple down. Patches Ford, Kelley’s aunt, said the victim went to pick up a few things at the store Saturday night around the corner from her house. She was last seen at the Dollar General on South Memorial Parkway across from Farley Elementary around 7:15 p.m.

By 8 p.m., she was found dead, lying in the middle of Green Cove Road.

Surveillance video shows her talking to two people outside the store before her car pulls out of frame.

According to Kelley’s relatives, Scott and his girlfriend, who is reportedly pregnant, at the Dollar General when she pulled up. They believe they asked her for help and for a ride and she said yes, so the couple got in her car.

“If she was someone in need, especially a pregnant woman, she would have done anything in her power to help her,” said Ashley Perry, the victim’s sister.

As she started to drive back towards her home off Green Cove Road, family members say things went horribly wrong. Kelley was stabbed multiple times and thrown out of the car. The couple then drove off in her vehicle, leaving her on the road with fatal injuries. A passerby spotted her and called 911. Patches Ford says nearby surveillance cameras captured Kelley being forced out of her own car and the duo speeding away. In the footage, she can be seen trying to raise up before collapsing from her stab wounds.

Her family is devastated and remembering Kelley as a loving and caring woman who will be greatly missed by those who knew her.

Friends are making decals and T-shirts to help with funeral costs.

Family members and friends honored Kelley with a touching memorial on Green Cove Road, gathering at the spot where she was found.

They thanked the public, the media and law enforcement for getting key information out that helped lead to major developments in the investigation.

Holding onto each other for support, they set out a cross and flowers out on the side of the road.

“She’s an Auburn fan so I had to get some Auburn colors and I made a cross and painted it,” Ashley Perry said.

For Kelley’s father, Chris Ford, it has been extremely difficult to cope with her loss.

“She was a big part of our lives. She held us together. She was by baby, my middle child. Everybody’s hearts are broken but we have to try to stand strong for Tiffany,” he stated. “Right now we’re trying to pull it together because we have to do it for her. Knowing that they captured these people is a weight lifted off our shoulders, at least we know that they didn’t get away.”

He added that family members will do everything they can to keep her memory alive.

“I thank everyone who helped share information and played a part in this more than you know because I think if we didn’t have such an outpouring of support, we would not have caught the people so quickly. They might not have ever been caught,” Ford said. “Next thing we’re looking for is justice.”

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