2nd Suspect Named in Wilbanks Murder
Twenty-three-year-old Myron Sewell has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the Sept. 22, 2011 shooting of William Lavelle Vaughn Jr.
Vaughn was found lying in the street in front of his father’s Sixth Ave. N. home with two gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was reportedly shot once in his right shoulder and once on the right side of his chest. He was transported via ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle but died en route. Vaughn’s death was the tenth murder in Lowndes County in 2011.
Investigators with the Columbus Police Department arrested Sewell last Friday and charged him with Capital Murder. Sewell was currently serving time in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center for his alleged role in the January 16 burglary and sexual assault of a woman at the Double S Laundromat located at 2007 Main St. According to reports, the victim told police that a man cornered her at the Laundromat and tried to rob her. The woman claims that when she told the man she didn’t have any money, he then forced her into the bathroom and raped her. After the assailant left the scene, the woman went to the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle emergency room and spoke with police.
Investigators then reviewed a tape from the Laundromat and identified the attacker as Sewell. A warrant was then issued for his arrest. When officers attempted to serve the warrant at a North Side home, Sewell led them on a foot chase that covered several blocks before losing the officers in the vicinity of Military Rd. and Schoolhouse Ave.
The following morning, a tip came in on the Crimestoppers hotline, alerting CPD officials of Sewell’s location. Shortly after, investigators cornered Sewell on Idlewild Rd. near Airline Manufacturing. He has been in the LCADC since his Jan 17 arrest.
During his arraignment this past Friday, Municipal Court Judge Nicole Clinkscales read the affidavit to Sewell. Speaking to Sewell, Clinkscales informed him that the affidavit quoted an eyewitness that named Sewell as the murderer.
According to Clinkscales, the witness told investigators that Sewell approached Vaughn and asked him for money. When Vaughn reportedly told Sewell that he didn’t have any, Sewell allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot him.
When Judge Clinkscales finished reading the affidavit to Sewell, he asked, “Someone said I shot him?” To which the judge responded, “Yes.” Sewell was denied bond but appeared more concerned with getting to make a phone call, telling the judge, “They don’t let you make no phone calls at the county.”
A preliminary hearing is set for September 6.
Chief of Police Selvain McQueen also announced on Friday that CPD investigators had just issued a warrant for the arrest of Curtis Hinton for his believed role in the 1997 murder of George Wilbanks.
Wilbanks was the second of five senior citizens murdered in Columbus between 1996 and 1998. Also murdered were Louise Randall, 80; Betty Everett, 68; Robert Hannah, 61; and Mack Fowler, 78. Wilbanks was strangled to death and his body was discovered on Nov. 2, 1997 in his Second Avenue North home.
Locals speculated a serial killer was responsible for the violent crimes, and the murders quickly garnered national attention.
Until 2012, nearly 15 years after his death, Wilbanks’ murder remained unsolved. Then, in February, police arrested 44-year-old Earnest Talley of Columbus and charged him with Capital Murder for his alleged role in Wilbanks’ death. The other four murders remain unsolved.
Talley was already incarcerated in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center after a January 14 arrest on two counts of burglary of a dwelling. He had not yet made his $20,000 bond. At his February arraignment on the murder charge, Judge Marc Amos set his bond at $2 million.
Hinton allegedly committed the murder with Talley.
Hinton has a lengthy history with local law enforcement, having served time in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center for a 1998 Sale of Cocaine charge. He has been arrested seven times since his release for charges ranging from False Pretense to Possession of Paraphernalia. He is believed to have fled the state. Anyone with information regarding Hinton’s whereabouts is asked to call the Columbus Police Department at 662-244-3500.0