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Alabama Man Charged with Murder

Dec 04, 2012 -- 12:02pm

By: Marc Summers (WEIS News)

According to information on the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office website Vennie Leroy Keaton has been charged with Murder.

Keaton had been named a “person of interest” in the death investigation of a co-worker – 32 year old Melissa Leann Hudgins – whose body was found on the campus of Gadsden State Cherokee last Wednesday morning (November 28th).

Her lifeless body was discovered around 9:00am in a mechanical room in the arena area.

She and Keaton both worked as contract employees for the company providing janitorial services to the college.

37 year old Vennie Leroy Keaton was arrested on Friday morning at around 10:30 in Cookeville, Tennessee by members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with several other agencies, including the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Centre Police Department and District Attorney’s Office.

It’s believed that the victim was killed sometime on Tuesday morning – and Keaton was last seen leaving the campus in Hudgins’ vehicle at approximately 11:30am.

Her vehicle was found abandoned alongside the road in Tennessee that same day, around 3:30pm

Keaton was taken into custody Friday on first degree theft of property charges with the charge of murder being brought Monday around 3:00pm.

He waived extradition and was brought back to Cherokee County from Tennessee on Friday.

Keaton is currently being held without bond in the Cherokee County Detention Center.


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