Former Pelham policeman and his wife charged with homicides after child custody dispute

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2002

A Hoover couple remains behind bars in the Jefferson County Jail after being charged on individual counts of capital murder.

They were brought to the Jefferson County jail in separate, unmarked police cars last Thursday.

Jeff McCord, a former Pelham police officer and his wife, Jessica McCord, were charged last Thurday with the deaths of a Maryland couple, Jessica’s ex-husband and his current wife.

Alan G. Bates, 30, and his wife, Terra Bates, 31, were found in a smoldering Avis rental car in the small town of Rutledge, Ga., in the early morning hours of Feb. 16.

Jessica McCord and Bates had been in a six-year custody battle over the couples’ two children, ages 10 and 12.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Bates were last seen in Birmingham, where they were in town to give depositions on the custody case.

The Bates were said to be picking the children up from the McCord house on Myrtlewood Drive in Hoover.

They were planning to bring the children back to Atlanta to visit grandparents.

The Hoover Police originally were spearheading the investigation, but it now is in the hands of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office who refused to comment on the case.

Several days after it was announced that the McCords were suspects in the double slayings, Jeff McCord was placed on administrative leave from the Pelham Police Department.

When he failed to appear at a hearing last week, he was fired from the force.

The McCords were arrested at a friend’s home in Alabaster where Hoover police were tipped to their whereabouts, according to police officials.

In two searches last week by the Hoover PD, several items were discovered which could potentially be used as evidence, according to media reports.

The items included an opened box of latex gloves, wallpaper with apparent bulletholes, carpet fibers, a gas can, a coffee table, two boxes of ammunition containing 70 shells, a large-caliber handgun and a bullet which had apparently been shot.

Reports have indicated that neighbors heard shots from the home.

The children are, according to family, in Florida with Jessica McCord’s sister