BREAKING: Starkville Labor Day Murder Suspect in Custody

Michael W. Devaughn

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Starkville Police have arrested a man sources tell WCBI is the prime suspect in the Labor Day Murders from 1990.

WCBI can confirm Michael W. Devaughn, 51, has been charged with capital murder and sexual battery.

Outside sources tell WCBI News that Starkville investigators arrested Devaughn Saturday evening as part of the investigation into the cold case murder of Betty Jones and the assault on Kathryn Crigler.

Starkville Police spokesman Brandon Lovelady will not confirm that this arrest is connected to the Labor Day case. But Lovelady says that Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols has scheduled a news conference Monday in connection to Devaughn’s arrest.

Devaughn, 51, was being held in the Tishomingo County Jail on unrelated drug charges.

If Devaughn is responsible for these crimes, he would have been 23 years old at the time.

And this arrest, if Devaughn is confirmed to be the suspect, is the result of technology that did not exist in 1990 and good old fashioned police work.

Starkville investigators have been working on this case, using new resources like and DNA science at Parabon Labs in Virginia and at the Scales DNA lab in Jackson.

Outside sources tell WCBI that this arrest is a result of that extensive work.

The actual crime happened in a home belonging to Kathryn Crigler on Labor Day evening in 1990. Her friend, Betty Jones was visiting at the time. Police believe Mrs. Jones answered a knock at the door. That’s when the suspect entered the home, killed Mrs. Jones, then went into the bedroom where he sexually assaulted Mrs. Crigler and left her for dead. Mrs. Crigler was actually able to call 911.

WCBI will continue to follow this story and bring you any updates before Monday’s news conference.

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