The Richmond Register

Local News

November 30, 2011

Family to conduct vigil on anniversary of murder

Tonight at courthouse

RICHMOND — One year ago, Meredith King and Cornelia Gayle Mullins were shot to death in their home on Hillsdale Avenue in Richmond.

Tonight, their families will conduct a candlelight vigil in their honor at the Madison County Courthouse, according to King’s mother, Sharlene Evans.

The vigil will include prayer and a few speakers, the lighting of the candles and a moment of silence. Everyone, even those who do not have a connection to the families, are invited, Evans said. Attendees are asked to bring their own candles.

Evans said the vigil is for both victims, and Mullins’ family has been invited. They live far away, she said, and may not be able to attend, but the vigil will honor Mullins, too.

Dealing with her daughter’s death has “sort of consumed me,” Evans said.

“A lot of people say, ‘I understand,’ but unless you’ve been there, you can’t understand,” she said. “You can sympathize, but not understand.”

It seems like her daughter is always with her, Evans said.

“When I wake of a morning, it’s like she is there,” she said. “Everywhere I go, she’s there.”

The bodies of King, 32, and Mullins, 55, were found in their home Dec. 4, 2010. John Payne, King’s boyfriend and Mullins’ son, later was arrested for their murder.

Each time Payne makes a court appearance, Evans, her husband and family fill the courtroom, wearing T-shirts with King’s photo on it. They say they want Payne to see them there.

Payne, who faces charges of capital murder, theft by unlawful taking, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and being a persistent felony offender, was set to be tried in Madison Circuit Court on Dec. 5, but the trial has been delayed.

Payne’s competency evaluation has not been completed, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith.

He remains in the Madison County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.

A new trial date will be set for Payne, but there will never be answers to all of Evans’ questions, she said.

“Will we ever get an answer to really know what happened over there that night. There are no answers,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the good Lord, I couldn’t have made it through this year.”

Evans was very close with her daughter. That is how she knew something was wrong last year when she could not reach her for several days.

“I normally talked to my child five or six times a day,” she said. “If I called her and she didn’t answer, she’d call right back.”

Evans went to King’s home, but it appeared empty and the car was gone. She filed a missing person’s report on her daughter, but also told an officer that all three of home’s residents appeared to be missing.

On Dec. 4, 2010, Berea Police officers went to the Days Inn to arrested Payne on charges of non-compliance with the sex offender registry requirements, according to the police citation.

When Payne opened the door, he told the officers that he had shot King and Mullins, according to testimony in Madison District Court by Richmond Police Detective Keith Daniel.

Berea officers then notified Richmond Police, who sent a patrol officer to conduct the welfare check at the Hillsdale Avenue home, while Payne was transported to RPD headquarters.

Officers who went to check the home were unable to get anyone to come to the door, so they summoned the Richmond Fire Department, which forced entry into the residence.

King and Mullins were found in separate rooms of the house, both dead from gunshot wounds, according to police.

After shooting the women, Payne said he took Mullins’ car and drove to the Berea motel, Daniel said.

Later, he told police the shootings were an accident.

Lorie Love Hailey can be reached at

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-23 Gravestone.jpg In search of the last resting place

    At a popular illegal dump site off Bybee Loop in Waco, two marble grave markers were among some items found there by Pat and Ronnie Aldridge, residents who live about 250 yards from the area.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fiscal court awards EMA bids

    Two more bids were awarded at Tuesday’s Madison County Fiscal Court meeting for the emergency operations agency.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23 Peter Crowe.jpg Intoxicated man charged with wanton endangerment

    A 27-year-old Richmond man was charged Sunday with second-degree wanton endangerment after he was found intoxicated and walking with several young children in the Keystone Drive area, according to a Richmond police report.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee voting available for May 20 election

    Walk-in absentee voting for the May 20 primary has begun and will continue until May 19, County Clerk Kenny Barger announced Tuesday at the Madison Fiscal Court meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23 Tab-a-PULLooza1.jpg Friday last day to collect pop tabs for Tab-a-Pullooza

    Before throwing that soda can in the recycling bin, twist off the pop tab and donate it to a local elementary or middle school for this year’s Tab-a-Pullooza celebration.

    April 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pot throwing downtown leads to arrest

    A Berea man was arrested Saturday after police say he damaged a downtown Richmond business and a parked vehicle by throwing flower pots.
    Jonathan A. McCullough, 34, was charged with first- and third-degree criminal mischief as well as alcohol intoxication, according to a Richmond police report.

    April 21, 2014

  • London police chief ordered to stay away from Berea woman

    A woman who who moved to Berea in February 2013 after a live-in relationship with London Police Chief Stewart O. Walker has obtained an emergency protective order against him from Madison Family Court.

    April 21, 2014

  • Task force reveals plan to make ‘Meaningful Math' matter

    It’s all too common to hear parents say, “I was never good at math...,” as if to excuse their children for not being good at math, said Madison County Schools Superintendent Elmer Thomas.

    April 21, 2014

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 4-18 Hong Kong 1.JPG Hong Kong fifth-graders visit Kit Carson

    A group of students from Hong Kong got a taste of the bluegrass last week thanks to an invitational education program at Kit Carson Elementary School.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results