Murder suspect kills self
Harvest man was wanted in Kansas in slaying of 26-year-old mother
By Holly Hollman
HARVEST — On Saturday afternoon in Wichita, Kan., a 9-year-old girl ran out of her home, looking for help.
She couldn't wake her mommy.
Meanwhile, the man who Wichita police believe shot and killed the girl's mother was on his way home to North Alabama.
On Tuesday night, Limestone County authorities found the murder suspect dead at his parents' Harvest home in the 14000 block of Morningside Drive. Sheriff Mike Blakely said Marcus Warmley, 23, shot himself in the head with a handgun.
Authorities aren't sure what triggered this tragic ending between the couple.
Wichita police Capt. Randy Landen said Warmley and Debrie Jefferson, 26, had known each other a couple of years. They communicated by telephone and e-mail, Landen said.
"I don't know what precipitated his visit to Kansas," Landen said. "We don't know if he was mad and that's why he came here, or if he got upset once he got here."
Landen said Warmley was in Wichita a day, maybe two, and that the couple went out to eat.
Jefferson's four children were home at the time of the shooting, Landen said, but didn't hear anything. Landen didn't know if Jefferson was asleep when Warmley shot her or if there was a fight.
A neighbor responded to the daughter's plea for help at 1 p.m. Saturday, Landen said. The neighbor saw blood on Jefferson and that she was unresponsive and called 911.
Landen said Warmley shot her once in the head.
Wichita authorities got a warrant for Warmley for first-degree murder and contacted authorities in Alabama and the U.S. Marshals Service.
"We assumed he would go back to Alabama, but we didn't hear anything about where he was until we got a call about the suicide," Landen said.
Blakely said Warmley was
a student at Alabama State
University in Montgomery. He was living with his grandparents in Brighton, southwest of Birmingham, while attending college.
Blakely said Warmley's family reported him missing in the Brighton and Bessemer areas, but when his parents contacted Bessemer authorities, police there said, "He's not missing. He's wanted for murder."
Blakely said when the parents returned home, they found Warmley at their house about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Limestone Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said Warmley's whereabouts between Saturday and Tuesday are unknown.
Blakely said Warmley's parents talked to him, and he made statements that indicated he shot Jefferson.
"They told him he was going to have to turn himself in," Blakely said. "Instead, he went to the bedroom and shot himself in the head."
Landen said Jefferson's four children, ages 9, 6, 2 and 1, are staying with a grandmother in Texas.
"They are too young to know what may have happened, and they didn't hear anything that happened," Landen said. "With their mother being dead and the boyfriend shooting himself, we probably won't know."
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