Mobile Police responded to Vaughn Photography on North Florida Street on Dec. 4, after an unnamed person reported to local authorities that two individuals were deceased inside the business.
According to Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich, the case was immediately considered a double homicide, and owners Daniel Herbert Vaughn, 43 of Mobile, and his mother, 67-year-old Rosa Vaughn McGahagin of Spanish Fort, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Within hours, investigators had identified 56-year-old Terry Walton of Pensacola as the primary suspect.
According to police, Walton returned to his residence in Pensacola after the incident. Later, as Escambia County Deputies closed in on his residence attempting to make contact, Walton shot himself, causing his death.
Walton and Vaughn knew each other, but their exact relationship was never confirmed by police.
However, media reports citing the victims’ family members later revealed Vaughn had been seeing Walton’s estranged wife, resulting in a domestic dispute turned double murder.
According to the Mobile Police Department, the case was closed with the death of the suspect.
Funeral services for both victims were held earlier this week, and a benefit fund for Daniel’s children, ages 15 and 12, has been set up through YouCaring.com.
As of Dec. 9, the fund had received $4,044. Donations can be made at http://www.youcaring.com/other/vaughn-family/273809.
Weekend shooting takes life of Murphy High student
Police responded to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s hospital for a report of one shot on Dec. 5. There authorities confirmed that 16-year-old Murphy High School student Raven Hamilton had died — the result of injuries sustained during a shooting near the 400 block of North Brazier Drive.
Two days later, Mobile homicide detectives identified 19-year-old Jamarcus Mahone as a suspect in the murder.
After being interviewed, Mahone was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and for the murder of Hamilton.
According to police, Mahone discharged in weapon into a car with four individuals inside, but no one other than Hamilton was injured.
Mahone was was later transported to the Mobile County Metro Jail. A judge granted a $300,000 bond for Mahone on Tuesday. He has since been transferred to Baldwin County Jail.
Prichard city council confirms police chief
Almost three weeks after Bernard Parrish was named police chief for the city of Prichard by Mayor Troy Ephriam, the City Council was finally able to legitimize the selection.
During a Dec. 4 city council meeting, Parrish was confirmed for the position and given a $65,000 starting salary.
Though the hold up was thought at first to be related to funding — as Prichard has yet to pass a budget for FY 2015 — Ephriam said it was actually the result of some council members’ concerns about Parrish’s qualifications.
“The funding was already there,” Ephriam said. “It was placed in the budget early on when the interim chief was in office, and the council had actually assigned a line item for the salary at $70,000. There were some on the council who wanted to make sure Bernard was able to do the job we were expecting of him.”
Ephriam said Parrish was qualified for the position, and said the majority of the council members showed they felt the same when they approved his appointment last Thursday.
“He is someone we really feel understands the needs of the community as far as crime prevention and crime reduction,” he said. “We’re working on community-oriented strategies in the crime prone areas of Prichard. We want to strengthen our communities and get citizens to take more pride in ownership. Those are some of the strategies and plans that overwhelming stood out to council, and we’re going to do everything in our power to give him the resources he needs.”
Gambling bust nets 17 arrests on Juniper Street
Making use of a confidential informant, police were able to shut down an illegal gambling operation in a resident on the 1300 block of Juniper Street in Mobile.
There police arrested John Webb, 50, for promoting gambling and for the distribution of a controlled substance that was later revealed to be Opana, a prescription opioid painkiller.
Webb has a criminal history dating back to 1996 that includes multiple charges, some of which are related to drugs and gambling.
During the operation on Juniper Street, 16 others were arrested and charged with simple gambling. An undisclosed amount of gambling proceeds were also seized from inside the residence.
A temporary restraining order was also filed against the owner of the home, which has been a decades-long issue for police due to drug activity, gambling and prostitution taking place at the residence.
This year, Mobile Police have conducted operations and made a total of 11 drug purchases from people in the home and on the property.