October 17, 2018 10:36:46 AM
Isabelle Altman - [email protected]
Investigators with Columbus Police Department have arrested two people in connection to a weekend homicide in south Columbus.
Victoria Hunter Slayton, 23, of Caledonia, and Malcolm Marquiles Tawon Hill, 25, of Shannon, have been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 34-year-old Markcus Maurice Pate, authorities announced Tuesday at a press conference at the Columbus Municipal Complex.
Pate's body was found in his apartment in the 300 block of 11th Street South Saturday morning. At the press conference, District Attorney Scott Colom indicated Pate was shot in the back of the head. However, Police Chief Fred Shelton said investigators are still determining how much time elapsed between the shooting and when police were called on Saturday morning.
Police arrested the suspects Monday.
Investigators said Slayton and Hill knew Pate and had conspired to steal drugs from him when the murder occurred, which makes the crime a capital murder. Colom said capital murders are the crimes most likely to go to trial and the penalty for defendants convicted of a capital crime is either life in prison or the death penalty.
Shelton said Slayton and Hill are friends. He and Colom declined to comment on either suspect's criminal history.
At the time of her arrest, Slayton was on parole from Mississippi Department of Corrections for charges of uttering forgery and sale of controlled substance in Lowndes County, according to MDOC's website. Hill was on parole for burglary and larceny of an unoccupied dwelling in Lee County.
Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton credited CPD's Criminal Investigation Division with making quick arrests in the case.
"Each one of them worked tirelessly. They worked all weekend, they worked at night, they came back in on Sunday morning and began to work, and then on Monday, we came to a good conclusion," he said.
He added investigators received "numerous tips" from the public via Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers.
Colom also congratulated the investigative team, along with the Columbus Crime Lab and the Columbus Lowndes Narcotics Division.
"I can tell the public that typically when you have someone shot in the back of the head with no witnesses, that's a very difficult case to get an arrest on because you don't have any eye witnesses that can testify about what happened on the scene at first," he said. "You have to really investigate to develop what occurred. I can tell you after reviewing the evidence and talking to the investigators that they did a thorough investigation. I'm confident that the evidence will ultimately result in convictions for Miss Slayton and Mr. Hill."
Slayton and Hill are in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. Their bonds have not been set.