CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Investigators say the two suspects who prompted a manhunt following a home invasion in Clarksville face murder and kidnapping charges in Alabama. They have also been charged with a triple murder in Illinois.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said 41-year-old Brady Witcher and 28-year-old Brittany McMillan were tracked to a hotel in Hazelwood, Missouri, Thursday night. They’re accused breaking into an apartment at the Waterford Landing Apartments in Clarksville late Wednesday and holding a young couple hostage.
Officials with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama said they’re also accused of killing 31-year-old Kellie Ann Hughes. Hughes’ body was found on December 13 in a wooded area near Medical Park Drive in Birmingham.
Investigators said warrants charging both with kidnapping and murder were then issued.
On Saturday the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis stated the couple have been charged with nine counts of first degree murder for a triple homicide in Bethalto, Illiinois.
Hazelwood and Bethalto Police found Shari Yates, Andrew Brooks, and John McMillian shot to death at a house on Mill Street around 11 Thursday night. Bethalto is located about 30 miles northeast of Hazelwood – a suburb of St. Louis.
Alleged crimes in Middle Tennessee
Clarksville police said they were armed with a gun and knives when they randomly found the Waterford Landing apartment unit unlocked. They're accused of tying up a married couple overnight.
"They tied them up, and put them in a closet and that's where they stayed all night," Clarksville Police Public Information Officer Jim Knoll said.
At some point the next morning, the male victim was stabbed and the female victim was hurt when she tried to wrestle the gun away from McMillian.
"They kicked into action, they fought for their lives and i like to say they won," Knoll said. "I would be willing to bet we would possibly have another couple of homicides right now if they had not fought like they did."
Neighbors saw the two victims escaping from the apartment early Thursday morning.
"I got up and I went out, and that's when I heard the lady saying, 'help help help,' and then I asked her if she was okay, and she was like 'no,' JeQuitta Hoosier, who lives next door to where the home invasion happened, said. "By that time she was just shaking and frantic, she said she wasn't okay."
Hoosier later found out her neighbors were held hostage and the suspects were tied to other violent crimes.
"If she hadn't have wrestled that gun away it probably would have ended up worse," Hoosier said.
The two suspects allegedly stole the victim's white GMC pickup. Neither it nor another vehicle, which the suspects allegedly stole in Alabama on December 16, has been recovered.
Police said the Witcher and McMillan are also believed to be the same two implicated in shoplifting cases at two Walmart locations
It's unclear when they'll be extradicted from Missouri.