2 more arrests in connection with Vinemont man's slaying
Sheriff says 'drug ring' killed dealer with baseball bat
By Seth Burkett
DAILY Staff Writer
email@example.com · 340-2355
Investigators arrested two Morgan County men who helped hide a body after three cohorts slew a drug dealer, Sheriff Greg Bartlett said Wednesday.
“This is basically a methamphetamine ring. They were selling or using meth,” Bartlett said.
Christopher Allen Hogan, 29, of Falkville and Cheston Jared Campbell, 18, of Somerville face charges of first-degree hindering prosecution.
Investigators arrested two others Friday on charges they murdered Keith Edward Sullins, 41, of Vinemont. Arvil Lee Townson, 20, of Huntsville and Selena Michelle Kelley, 31, of Vinemont remained in Morgan County Jail on Wednesday on $100,000 bond each.
A fifth arrest and murder charge is expected today or Friday, as the suspect is already being held in the Cullman County Jail on other charges. The suspect’s name was not released.
“He’ll be brought to Morgan County and charged. There’s a hold placed on him right now,” Bartlett said.
Sullins’ decomposed remains were discovered in a gully near Parkers Gap Road in the Massey community Feb. 26.
Townson, Kelley and the unidentified suspect allegedly lured Sullins to a residence in the Lacon area close to the Cullman County line, Bartlett said.
"We believe he was lured out there either to collect on a debt or to sell someone drugs. He was attacked inside the residence, where they beat him with a baseball bat," Bartlett said.
"He died of blunt force trauma to the head. The autopsy indicated one massive wound to the head was enough to kill him."
The men slew Sullins while Kelley watched, Bartlett said.
"The female was there, witnessed it and was part of setting up the attack. She also helped dispose of evidence," he said.
With the help of Hogan and Campbell, the killers used Sullins' sport utility vehicle to carry his body to the ravine and later disposed of the vehicle, Bartlett said.
Police continue to search for the 1986 Ford Bronco, which was a faded red or black color.
Bartlett said he believed Sullins' associates killed him over a drug debt.
"When you get to using meth, you get paranoid. One of these guys made a comment about being up for something like 16 days in a row. People like that become very dangerous," Bartlett said.
"They don't trust anybody, and you can't trust them. That's usually how somebody gets in a situation where they get assaulted, or worse."
Campbell and Hogan both have prior drug arrests in Morgan County.
Townson and Kelley reside in other counties, and it was not immediately available whether either has a criminal history.
Hogan was already in Morgan County Jail on charges of probation violation and failing to appear on a charge of permitting dogs to run. He remained in jail Wednesday without bond.
Campbell was released Wednesday on $750 bond.
Sullins was out of jail on $50,000 bond on a charge of trafficking meth at the time of his disappearance.
He was reported missing in Cullman County on Feb. 16.
Over the past three weeks, investigators conducted numerous interviews with potential witnesses, suspects, friends and family members about the case, Bartlett said.
"The suspects have not been very cooperative. Meth users usually are not very cooperative," he said.
"But investigators have done a heck of a job putting this together. I believe we have everybody involved and everybody responsible."
Bartlett said the sheriff's office needs tips from civilians in the fight against Morgan County's meth problem.
Anyone with information should call 351-STOP (7867).
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