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Update: Murder Suspect Now In Custody


According to information released from Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver and Centre Police Chief Kirk Blankenship murder suspect Vennie Leroy Keaton is now in custody. Keaton was taken into custody this morning at approximately 10:30 am by members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Keaton was located in Cookeville Tennessee and surrendered to police without incident. Keaton is a suspect in the homicide investigation where the body of Melissa Leann Hudgins was found on the Cherokee Campus of Gadsden State Community College wednesday morning.

Sheriff Shaver states that there are a team of Investigators from the Sheriff's Office, Centre Police Department, and the District Attorney's Office already in Tennessee assisting with the investigation. Keaton is currently being transported to a detention facility in Tennessee and is expected to be extradited back to Cherokee County. Sheriff Shaver and Chief Blankenship wants to extend their appreciation to everyone that is involved in this investigation and a special thanks to the members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. 

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