Accused Fayetteville killer transferred to Nashville

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A man charged in the deaths of six people in Tennessee and Alabama has been transferred to state custody and is being held in a maximum security prison in Nashville, officials said.

Dorinda Carter, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction, said Monday that Jacob Levi Shaffer, 30, was transferred from the Lincoln County jail to Riverbend Maximum Security Institution last Thursday.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said Shaffer was moved for the safety and security of the suspect as well as the jail.

Shaffer's estranged wife, Tracie, her teenage son, her father and brother and a 16-year-old neighbor were found stabbed in two homes in rural Fayetteville, Tenn., on July 18. A man who was described as an acquaintance of Shaffer's was found beaten to death at a Huntsville, Ala., business, about 30 miles south.

Investigators say Jacob and Tracie Shaffer were having marital problems that led to the slayings. Jacob Shaffer is charged with six counts of homicide.

The prison houses most of Tennessee's death row inmates and approximately 600 medium and maximum security prisoners.

"From time to time, we are asked to bring in people who are awaiting trial in high profile cases, first-degree murder cases and some juveniles who are being tried as adults," Carter said.

Shaffer will be placed in a cell by himself and will be placed on mandatory segregation from the general population while he stays there, conditions similar to those for the state's death row inmates, Carter said.

The state will be responsible for transporting Shaffer to and from court hearings while he stays in their custody, Carter said. Shaffer is being held without bond.