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Man reportedly confessed to shooting his uncle

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Additional details are unfolding about an Alabama jail escapee who allegedly killed a man, then came to Hampton to attend a NASCAR race.

Micheal Lynn Sherer, 51, of Double Springs, Ala., was extradited to Alabama Friday, according to Hampton Police Chief Rad Porter. Sherer was apprehended by Hampton Police Thursday, after being charged with murder in Alabama for the death of 52-year-old Thomas Lynn Smith, Porter said.

James Painter, chief deputy of the Walker County Sheriff's Office in Jasper, Ala., confirmed that Smith is Sherer's uncle. Sherer, said Painter, shot Smith twice in the victim's home.

Hampton Police Chief Rad Porter said Sherer confessed to the crime, when interviewed by Alabama authorities. Sherer used an SKS assault rifle to kill his uncle, according to Porter, who added that investigators with the Walker County Sheriff's Office searched Sherer's vehicle on Thursday. The car had been impounded by Hampton Police.

"They found all the evidence pertaining to the murder, and found the murder weapon," Porter said.

Hampton Officer Eric Hayes said earlier that vendors at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) alerted him to suspicious activity by Sherer. The vendors reportedly claimed Sherer was trying to sell a .22 caliber pistol, but would not show his identification when asked.

The officer added that, when Hampton Police learned Sherer's identity, they discovered he had outstanding warrants for allegedly killing Smith, and escaping from jail in Alabama.

Hayes said Sherer is suspected of stealing a van from Smith, prior to the victim's death. The van was found at the Country Hearth Inn in Hampton, the officer said. "Also, the weapon that he was selling over here is suspected to be the same weapon that he stole from [Smith]," said Hayes.

Hayes said Sherer traded the gun for two tickets to Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500 race. An article about the Sherer case appeared in the Sept. 3 edition of the Henry Daily Herald. Chief Porter said that, after the article was published, a woman who obtained the pistol from Sherer came forward and turned it in to Hampton Police.

Chief Porter did not release the woman's name.