published Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

2 charged in slayings of 6 on Tennessee-Alabama border

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — Two men were charged Thursday with six counts each of first-degree murder in last year’s slayings of three women, a man, a toddler and an unborn baby in what authorities described as a dispute over drug dealing.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder announced the charges against 36-year-old Henry Burrell, of Fayetteville, and 35-year-old Zakkawanda Moss, of New Market, Ala. The two men are currently incarcerated in Alabama on unrelated charges.

Blackwelder declined to elaborate on the motive for the crimes, but a news release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated that Burrell and Moss were drug dealers who worked with the male victim, Warren Crutcher. Officials believe the pair decided that Crutcher was ripping them off and decided to rob him. The slayings occurred while Burrell and Moss were looking for drugs and money.

Four of the victims were discovered on the morning of Oct. 22, when a 3-year-old boy called relatives saying that he couldn’t wake up his mother and brother. Police found the bodies of 22-year-old Chabreya Campbell and her 16-month-old son, Rashad Ragland, along with Campbell’s friend, 21-year-old Amber McCaulley, of Huntsville, Ala. Campbell was six months pregnant at the time.

Later that evening, a few miles from Campbell’s home, Lincoln County investigators found a second crime scene. Inside, 22-year-old Jessica Brown was dead but her 2-month-old baby was alive.

Crutcher lived in both homes and had children with women at each of the residences, according to the TBI. Crutcher initially was a suspect, but his body was found the following day, dumped near a fence row just across the Tennessee-Alabama line. Authorities now believe Crutcher was killed at Campbell’s home.

Blackwelder declined to say how the victims were killed. He also would not say why he thought one child was killed while two others were spared. Crutcher was the father of both of the surviving children.

Jeffrey Pope, was found dead in a Huntsville home the same day authorities found Crutcher. Pope had been killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. Authorities have said Pope and Crutcher were acquainted, although they have not released more details of their relationship.

On Thursday, Blackwelder declined to say whether authorities believe Pope’s death was related to the six deaths in Tennessee.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department has put a hold on Burrell and Moss for extradition on the murder charges.

Burrell is currently in the Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton, Ala., where he is serving a sentence for assault and parole violation. Moss is in the Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery, Ala., where he is serving a 20 year sentence for robbery and parole violation.

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