Suspect arrested in Winston County double homicide

Suspect arrested in Winston County double homicide

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Shannon Edward Payne. Source: Winston County Sheriff's Office Shannon Edward Payne. Source: Winston County Sheriff's Office
The bodies of Maxine Carroll and her nephew Bryan Stephens were found inside this home on Winston County Road 41 in the Upshaw community. Source: WBRC video The bodies of Maxine Carroll and her nephew Bryan Stephens were found inside this home on Winston County Road 41 in the Upshaw community. Source: WBRC video
WINSTON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The Winston County Sheriff's Office has arrested a suspect in connection to the double homicide of an 80-year-old woman and her 50-year-old nephew last week.

The suspect is identified as Shannon Edward Payne, a 37-year-old man from Double Springs. He is charged with capital murder in the deaths of 80-year-old Maxine S. Carroll and her 50-year-old nephew Bryan Keith Stephens.

Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris says it appears that Payne and Stephens' daughter were in a relationship.

Stephens reportedly told Payne and his daughter to move out after unspecified complications. Harris says that Payne and his girlfriend returned tot he house where a fight broke out.

Deputies say Payne grabbed a rifle and shot Stephens twice. Carroll was also hit during the argument. Officials believe the shooting happened sometime during the evening on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Stephens had been living with his aunt for about a year, authorities said. Another nephew was also living at the home, but was out of town on business at the time of the shooting.

Sheriff's deputies went to the home on Monday morning when friends couldn't get Carroll to come to the door and discovered the scene. Investigators said there was no sign of forced entry.

Carroll's nephew-in-law says it's been a very difficult week but the community has been supportive.

"The community has been, this is a close-knit community and they come together real good," Donnie Carroll said.

Detectives and the ABI interviewed possible suspects after speaking with friends and relatives of the victims.

Sheriff Rick Harris said Carroll was a longtime schoolteacher and was well-known in the area.

Sheriff Harris said investigators from the sheriff's office, the Alabama Bureau of Investigations and the Winston County District Attorney's Office are following up on other leads in the case.

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