Deputies issue murder charges against school maintenance employee

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a 47-year-old McCalla man employed by the Shelby County School System after the man was charged with capital murder on July 1.

Hutcheson

Hutcheson

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office detectives obtained capital murder arrest warrants for 47-year-old Stephen Sean Hutcheson on July 1, but had not yet located the suspect.

Hutcheson, who has worked with the Shelby County School System’s maintenance department since 2000, was placed on unpaid administrative leave after the charges were filed against him, according to Shelby County Schools Spokeswoman Cindy Warner.

“We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy and are praying for the family during this time,” Shelby County School Superintendent Randy Fuller wrote in a statement. “We are cooperating with the authorities and are not at liberty to comment further on this ongoing investigation.”

According to sheriff’s deputies, Hutcheson “is believed to be alive and on the run. His whereabouts are unknown.” Hutcheson has been missing since June 28, when sheriff’s deputies discovered his wife and two children dead in a McCalla residence.

Shortly before 7 p.m. on June 28, Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the 5900 block of Coleman Lake Road in McCalla to conduct a welfare check on the victims after the victims’ family members reported not having contact with them for more than a week.

After deputies met one of the victims’ relatives at the house, law enforcement officials forced entry into the home and discovered the bodies of 49-year-old Doris Burchfield Hutcheson, 14-year-old Kimberly Hutcheson and 12-year-old Peyton Hutcheson. All three had been shot to death, according to deputies.

Stephen Hutcheson could not be located at the scene, and a silver 2005 Dodge Stratus owned by the family was missing.

“The investigation indicates that Stephen Hutcheson shot and killed his family Friday night (June 26),” read a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office press release. “He left in the car to meet a girlfriend before taking her to a hotel where they stayed together until Sunday morning.

“The girlfriend has been located and questioned. She is cooperating with detectives,” the release read. “She is not suspected of participating in the murders of this family.”

Sheriff’s deputies currently are searching for Stephen Hutcheson, who could still be in the silver Dodge Stratus bearing Alabama license plate 1AS7156.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s location is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 325-1450 or Crime Stoppers at 254-7777