ANDERSON, S.C. — The man accused in the double slayings of Chip and Jo Ann Staton was arraigned Friday evening.
Matthew Fullbright stayed mostly quiet as the judge informed him that he was charged with two counts each of murder and armed robbery and that no bond was set for him.
When given an opportunity to speak freely, Fullbright seemed to imply that if he committed a crime, he did not do it alone.
“Well I’ve went over some things with the officers, showing them how … pretty much my… my minimal involvement, I guess you would say, in all of this,” said Fullbright. “Um, and a lot of things came to light today because they’re starting to see, um, I showed them some evidence today that kind of points away from me.”
Fullbright also offered a message to Staton’s family members which some said raised more questions than answers.
“I’m sorry that all this happened the way it did,” he said. “And uh, I know the truth is going to come out. And um, I just uh, I wish that I could have talked to this guy maybe a little more and um, just maybe said something different to him to change things.”
Fulbright told the judge he is going to try to get a public defender. Staton’s brother was also given the opportunity to speak at the hearing but had nothing to say.
I bet. Fullbright has been pushing the idea that he is not the murderer and even took police to a site he claimed would have evidence the police would want. The cops are collecting evidence there, but frankly this story has a bit of the blarney to it if you ask me.
Fullbright had been stealing from family members just before the murders as this Fox Carolina piece points out:
Fullbright has also been accused of stealing from his parents home. According to an incident report, Fullbright stole jewelry, valuable coins and electrical equipment from the house.
Staton, of course, was buying up gold jewelry. What do jewelry, coins, and electronics have in common? They’re all easily pawnable. Is Fullbright an addict who was looking for fix money? If so, an addict’s desperation would explain the murders, especially if the Statons wouldn’t give him money for his fix.
Update: Looks like the answer to the addiction question is yes:
Belton Police Chief David Dockins said, “We received a complaint earlier this week from a family member that had lost some valuables.”
According to a police report, Kathryn Fullbright told officers that she has had trouble with her stepson, Matthew Fullbright, stealing items from her home.
Fullbright was charged with stealing $1,100 in cash along with $1,500 worth of jewelry, coins, tools and electrical supplies.
Fullbright’s father, Marshall Fulbright said his son had a problem with pain pills, didn’t have a job and had his license suspended about two weeks ago. “The last two weeks I’ve been pretty down on him about getting his life straightened out,” Marshall Fullbright said.”He was talking about detox and this and that, and then this happened,” he said.
His detox will come far too late for the Statons. If you’re supporting a drug addict you are not doing the addict or the world any favors.
[Update, November 12, 2009: The victim, Brenda Brown, is dead. Police have no suspects and few leads at this time.]
Greer police are investigating a brutal attack that left a woman lying naked, bloody, and unconscious on her bedroom floor. She was found Wednesday evening, though the assault may have occurred as early as Tuesday.
Police said that the woman’s mother, 72, became concerned about her daughter’s wellfare [sic] after she had not heard from her all day. They said the mother went to the daughter’s home and found blood inside. They said the mother then asked her son-in-law to call for help.
According to an incident report, police found the 49-year-old victim naked and lying beside her bed, which had a large amount of blood on it and the pillows. The report said that the woman had suffered a laceration to the left side of her head and had severe swelling around her eyes and cheeks.
WSPA reported there was no sign of forced entry at the home, and it is unknown whether or not the victim knew her assailant. Police have no suspects at this time. Tipsters are asked to call Greer Police at 848-2151.
Greenville Dragnet will follow this story closely as it continues to develop.
Deputies with the Greenville Sheriff’s Office believe a 17-year-old male is responsible for five armed convenience store robberies and a home invasion this month. The suspect hit the following stores:
Lil’ Cricket on White Horse Rd.
Quick Stop on Cedar Lane Rd.
Lil’ Cricket on Old Agusta Rd.
Kangaroo on Rutherford Rd.
Cracker Jacks on Pendleton St.
During each robbery, he pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. Deputies also believe the suspect forced his way into a home on Haynesworth Road to steal car rims as the victim slept.
The suspect is now in custody at the Greenville County Detention Center. He “has been charged with six offenses of armed robbery, six offense [sic] of possession of a weapon during a violent crime and one offense each of Burglary 1 and criminal conspiracy,” WSPA reported. He has not posted bond.
If you’re not keeping a firearm in the house, what are you waiting for?
The Simpsonville Police Department has released a surveillance photo of the man believed responsible for a string of October car break-ins in Simpsonville. The suspect is white, approximately 25 to 30 years old, 185 lbs, and between 5’9″ and 6’0″ tall.
Visit WSPA to view the photo of the suspect and call the Simpsonville Police at 967-9536 if you have any information.
An attempted abduction near the intersection of South Welcome Road and La Rosa Lane in Greenville was reported by three girls, ages 5, 9, and 10. The incident occurred as the children were walking home from Welcome Elementary School on Monday.
The suspect, reportedly a stranger to the girls, pulled up in a car, grabbed one child by the arm, and said in Spanish, “You’re going to be my girls now.” The girl screamed, broke free, and all three ran home, police were told.
20-30 years old
Medium height and weight
Clean shaven, scar and bump on long nose
Tatto [sic] on right arm of a dragon or snake, a heart and letters ACY
Wearing a blue shirt with a white star in the middle, blue jeans and torn tennis shoes
Wearing a black and white Atlanta Braves hat and sunglasses
Suspect Vehicle: 80’s model light gray Honda Accord 4 door, dent on driver’s door and rear driver’s side door, possible North Carolina tag with the letters ARC, new rims, brown sticker with a partial word “SARY” on the rear glass
The level of detail in this description is stunning to say the least. Trained law enforcement officers are often unable to provide such precise and vivid detail on suspects. The vehicle description is extraordinarily thorough as well.
Does this pass the smell test?
For some time, the mother of one of the children has been lobbying to have her daughter taken to and from school by bus. She lives less than a mile and a half from the school, and thus does not qualify.
Could this be a ruse to bolster her argument?
I certainly hope not, but we’ll keep an eye on this story. In the mean time, if you have any information pertaining to the alleged crime, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 271-5210 or Crime Stoppers at 23-CRIME.
[Update - 11/31/09] Click here to view a sketch of the suspect.