Authorities this week transferred Josh Maylee from the Callaway County Jail to Boone County's Jail.
Sheriff Dennis Crane said that a trade was made between the two counties to ensure the safety of Maylee, 23, and the other inmates who may have had a negative experience with Maylee in the past.
"Any time there's even a possibility of conflict, it's best to do this if you can," Crane said. "Inmates may have something against him.
"Looking at the bigger picture, this is just the right thing to do."
Maylee last week was charged with three Callaway County murders on Oct. 26, east and west of Holts Summit.
Eugene, 48, and Jackie Pinet, 57, and Jeff Werdehausen, 46, died in the shootings. Werdehausen's wife, Gina, 41, also was shot, but survived the attack, at their farm east of Holts Summit and north of Tebbetts.
Officials have said Maylee and the victims from the Holts Summit area were connected by past dealings, but they have not elaborated.
Crane said they have continued to go through phone records and are interviewing potential witnesses.
They also have been delivering evidence to the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab to be checked out.
Also in October, Maylee was arrested and charged with two cases of theft - including one case where a stolen tractor was found at the Pinets' home west of Holts Summit.
Crane said there was no cost to making the transfer, since the two counties are in the same court circuit and the two men involved are both charged with murder.
In return for taking Maylee, Boone County sent an inmate to the Callaway County Jail.
"Darris Peal, who is one of the suspects in (Columbia's MU Homecoming) Breaktime shooting, is going to be housed here," Crane said.
Callaway County deputies still will be responsible for transporting Maylee to and from court hearings in his cases.
Crane also noted that Chief Deputy Darrell Maylee, who is Josh Maylee's uncle, only took a few days off during the investigation into the murders and his nephew's possible involvement.
The sheriff emphasized Darrell Maylee was not placed on any kind of "leave."
"I have no questions and never will question Chief Deputy Maylee's integrity," Crane said. "I know who he is and what he's about.
"He's always said that (Josh) made those choices, not him."
Crane said Darrell Maylee took off for "a few days during the investigation, but he volunteered on his own to do that. He wasn't involved in any way in the investigation."
But the relationship helped Crane decide to move Maylee to Boone County.
"Why even have the pressure?" Crane said. "We don't need the extra pressure.
"I don't think this would happen, but the staff people don't need to worry about his uncle being Chief Deputy and being subordinate."
Jeff Haldiman of the News Tribune staff contributed information used in this story.