The Richmond Register

December 4, 2010

UPDATED BREAKING NEWS — Bodies identified; Waco man arrested

By Lorie Love Hailey
Register Editor

RICHMOND — A Waco man was arrested Saturday for allegedly killing two Richmond women.

John Payne, 37, of College Hill Road, was taken into custody shortly after noon by Richmond police, after the bodies of 55-year-old Cornelia Mullins and 32-year-old Meredith King were discovered Saturday in a home at 506 Hillsdale Ave.

Both women were residents of the home, according to Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison.

“Both suffered gunshot wounds,” said Major Bob Mott of the Richmond Police Department. Mott would not reveal where on their bodies the women were shot, or the area of the home in which the bodies were found.

Deputy Coroner Carlos Coyle said the women had been dead for up to a week.

The bodies were discovered by police as they executed a search warrant on the home.

“We got information that we needed to go there, so we did,” Mott said.

He said he could not reveal who called police or under what circumstances they called, and described the day’s events as “convoluted.”

Payne is charged with two counts of murder and one count of tampering with physical evidence. Police expect to file more charges, Mott said. He was taken into custody without incident.

Local officers worked well into the evening processing the scene and collecting evidence, Mott said.

The bodies were taken to the state Medical Examiner’s office, where they are scheduled for an 8 a.m. autopsy, Cornelison said.

Bill Robinson contributed to this story.

Lorie Love Hailey can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or 624-6690.