Sheriff: Stabbing suspect could be linked to string of violent crimes

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) – A Jasper, Alabama man has been arrested on attempted murder and robbery charges after leading police on a three county chase Friday morning.

Lee County Sheriff's Deputies and Auburn Police Officers took James Cobb Hutto III, 39, into custody after he pulled over just east of the intersection of Alabama Highway 51 and US Highway 80.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says it all started when police responded to a 911 call and found Mark Ambers Cox, 56, of Opelika suffering from multiple stab wounds in his neck along with lacerations and abrasions on his face and head in a wooded area in the 5300 block of Highway 29 North in Opelika.

Cox is listed in serious condition at East Alabama Medical Center for his injuries and has been transferred to UAB hospital in Birmingham for further treatment.

According to the victim, he was meeting the suspect to discuss the purchase of property.

Witnesses were able to provide authorities with a description of the suspect's car- a silver Mercedes. Auburn Police officers spotted the car, followed it and arrested Hutto, who was behind the wheel.

From there, Sheriff Jones says the case exploded.

Clinton, Mississippi police believe Hutto may be involved in the disappearance of an 81-year-old woman who went missing Monday night.  Birmingham police suspect that Hutto may be involved in the death of a Birmingham woman, who may be a relative. Her body was discovered at her home on Thursday morning.

Investigators say the silver Mercedes that Hutto was driving at the time of his arrest in Lee County Friday matches the description of the vehicle belonging to the woman reported missing on Monday in Clinton, Mississippi.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says Hutto is a registered sex offender in Walker County, AL where he lives. Jones would not comment on whether or not Hutto had any weapons on him at the time of his arrest.

He's currently being held at the Lee County Detention Facility.