(Updated) Parole denied for man imprisoned for conspiracy in 2010 Hanceville murder

William Cecil Abbott (Alabama Department of Corrections)

Updated 7-22-20 at 5:37 p.m.

Abbott’s parole was denied.

Original- published July 15, 2020

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – William Cecil Abbott, 39, of Hanceville, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy to commit murder in the 2010 death of another Hanceville resident, Jerry Allen Martin, is eligible for parole and will receive a hearing before the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Abbott has served nine years and eight months (including time served before the plea deal) of a 17-year sentence. Originally sentenced to the medium-security Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore, he has more recently been housed at the minimum-security Camden Community Work Center.

Martin was a witness in a then upcoming rape/incest case against Abbott’s father, William Henry Abbott. 

On Nov. 22, 2010, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) discovered a body in a burning car belonging to a member of the Abbott family near Hanceville, and found Martin’s driver’s license in the back pocket of the pants on the body. A later autopsy revealed a gunshot wound to Martin’s neck, and an examination of the vehicle revealed two firearm cartridge casings and chemical accelerants.

The following day, Donna Abbott, wife of William Henry Abbott and mother of Cecil Abbott, reported her husband missing in the same vehicle. With Martin’s body identified, Donna Abbott eventually admitted that her husband and son had conspired to murder Martin and fake Henry Abbott’s suicide. Cecil Abbott was arrested and charged with capital murder and conspiracy for helping his father dispose of the body and flee the area

On Sept. 17, 2013, Cecil Abbott entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit murder in exchange for a dismissal of other charges, a day after his father made his own deal to plead guilty to capital murder. Cecil Abbott was sentenced to 17 years in a state prison, while his father received life without the possibility of parole.

Cecil Abbott’s reassignment from Fountain Correctional Facility to the community work center indicated that the Department of Corrections views him as a minimal threat to himself or others, and considers him capable of working offsite without the supervision of a correctional officer.

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W.C. Mann