Nearly 41/2 years ago, three members of one family were shotgunned to death in the middle of the night at their rural Alabama home.
Friday, a member of that family was arrested in Oklahoma City by federal and local law enforcement officers and accused of killing his mother, father and older brother in Ozark, Ala.
Jason Hunter Culverhouse, 23, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals' Service Metro Fugitive Squad at an Oklahoma City truck stop. Culverhouse was indicted Thursday in Alabama and charged with the triple-homicide, said Phil Lakey, deputy U.S. marshal in Oklahoma City.
"He's been the prime suspect for 41/2 years and they just recently developed the evidence to be able to indict him," Lakey said.
Alabama authorities now have a witness who allegedly discussed the killings with Culverhouse, Lakey said.
Alabama authorities had informed federal marshals that Culverhouse, a trucker, would likely be traveling through Oklahoma City on Friday, Lakey said. Culverhouse was driving an 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig that he owned and officers had a complete description of the truck with identification numbers, he said.
Surveillance was set up along Interstate 40 and Culverhouse's rig was spotted shortly after 1 p.m., Lakey said. Surveillance was maintained until Culverhouse stopped at the Truck Stops of America on Council Road and Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City, he said.
Authorities had information that Culverhouse might be carrying a firearm so law enforcement officers did not want to attempt a traffic stop, Lakey said. They also did not want to get into a high-speed pursuit with an 18-wheeler, he said.
Eight members of the metro fugitive squad waited until Culverhouse had exited his truck and then they rushed to arrest him, he said. Culverhouse offered no resistance, he said.
Lakey said Culverhouse received a $500,000 insurance settlement on his family's estate, but that Lakey didn't know if prosecutors in Alabama were claiming that was the motive for the killings.
Culverhouse used part of those proceeds to purchase two Kenworth tractors and go into the trucking business, he said.
Culverhouse waived an extradition hearing and was flown to Alabama.
The metro fugitive squad is comprised of deputy U.S. marshals and members of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department, Oklahoma City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state Department of Corrections. BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 533991