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The Millbrook Independent

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Millbrook woman’s body found, son charged with murder
Written by News Desk   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 19:15

8-24crimescene The body of a black female found in Sandtown Saturday afternoon, August 23 has been positively identified as that of Anita Washington, 49, of Millbrook. Her son, Sedric Clayton, 27,  remains in jail for her alleged murder under $250,000 bond. 

By Sarah Morrison Stephens

   Clayton requested his bond amount be reduced to $50,000 to allow him to go back to work, but this was denied by District Court Judge Glenn Goggans, who noted the serious nature of the charges. He explained that once Clayton has a court-appointed attorney, he can again request a bond reduction.

  “Today is bittersweet for Ms. Washington’s family, friends, neighbors, and the men and women of the Millbrook Police Department,” Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson said. “On one hand, we can say that the individual responsible for her death is incarcerated in the Elmore County Jail. We can say that Washington has been found and that she can be put to rest properly and with respect, allowing her family an opportunity to grieve their loss and say goodbye to their loved one. But that means that Washington is no longer with us. There is no chance that she’s coming home to her family, at least not the way we would have hoped for.”

    The Alabama Department of Forensic Science positively identified the body located last Saturday, as Anita Washington. The preliminary report states the manner of death is homicide. Due to this case remaining under investigation Johnson said he office will not comment on the actual cause of death at this time.

  "We have a substantial amount of physical and biological evidence in this case," Johnson continued. "I am extremely confident that our detectives have the person responsible for Washington's death in custody. Although we have met our primary case objectives, which were to locate Washington and determine who was responsible for her death, as well as bring that person to justice, there is still the prosecution of this case in Elmore County Circuit Court.

“Therefore we still have work to do. Our Investigators will continue to collect any available evidence, identify and interview any potential witnesses and compile the absolute best case possible to present to the Elmore County Grand Jury. When a jury returns a verdict in this case, only then will our job be done.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family."

8-24suspectFriday night August 22 officers arrested Sedric Clayton (pictured), Washington's son, and charged him with murder even before the body was found.

  Prior to his arrest Friday night, Millbrook officers questioned Clayton earlier in the day, but went to Montgomery Friday night to formally arrest him at the house of a family member. The arrest came after forensics teams and investigators spent about 15 hours in the Richfield home, and their findings lead to his arrest, despite not having yet located the body. They have not released specifics on what they found, only saying it was "significant."

The body was located Saturday afternoon by a cattle farmer near the intersection of Lakeshore and Caroline, about 20 yards into the woods. Her body was covered by a white sheet near an area commonly used for illegal dumping of trash. It appears she had been in the woods at the location from around the time she was reported missing late Tuesday night by her younger son. The body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy.

District Attorney R.H. Houston is familiar with Washington, because of the attempt on her life in October 2008, which his office successfully prosecuted.

  "I can't imagine how awful it must be to be so violently attacked by two intimate family members in one life time," Houston said. "And it is especially unusual for a son to kill his mother...at least it seems that way to me. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty."

  For the four days prior to the body being found, investigators and officers with the Millbrook Police Department had spent hours at the house, which they believe is the crime scene, as well as canvassing the neighborhood, speaking with friends and former associates of Washington. Even in making the arrest, Johnson said his officers could not rest.

"Our job is not complete until we find that body," Johnson said. "We owe it to them to do everything we can to bring their loved one home."

Johnson credited his officers for their diligence, and thanked the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office for the use of their equipment and skills. "We are happy to take all the help we can get in instances like this. We (different departments) always work together to help if we can. We so appreciate it all of their help."

  Washington was first reported missing Tuesday night by her younger son. He told officers he always knew where his mother was at all times, and he began to worry immediately when he came home from school and could not find her.

Washington's youngest son has been staying with family in Montgomery since his home was declared a crime scene.

  Clayton’s father, "I" Washington, is in prison for the 2008 attempted murder of Washington, who was shot multiple times in the head. Surgeons were never able to remove all of the fragments, which caused her problems and she never completely recovered.

"This isn't the type of closure we were hoping for," one neighbor said. "But at least I know she is at peace."

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 August 2014 12:25
 
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