Couple facing nine counts of first-degree murder after ‘reign of terror’ leaves at least four people dead

by Editorial Team

An Alabama couple believed to have killed at least four people in a multi-state “reign of terror” are facing nine counts of first-degree murder, according to authorities.

Brady Witcher and Brittany McMillan are accused of fatally shooting three people in Bethalto, Illinois, where McMillan is from. The bodies of 59-year-old old Shari Yates, her 30-year-old son Andrew “AJ” Brooks and John McMillian, 32, were found Thursday night in the home where Yates and Brooks lived. Bethalto is a village of about 9,000 people.

“They executed, in essence, the individuals at that residence,” Brian Koberna of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis told reporters on Saturday. “This is a brutal and heinous crime and crime spree that occurred and these individuals are evil. They’re some of the most evil individuals that I’ve seen in my entire career.”

The couple was arrested Thursday in the Missouri city of Hazelwood in connection with the Alabama murder of 31-year-old Kellie Ann Hughes. They are expected to be extradited to Madison County in Illinois.

Witcher and McMillan are also facing charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking. The nine counts of murder represent multiple legal theories under which prosecutors believe they acted.

“This was not a random act …. The victims that lived at the Mill Street address did know both defendants through the course of the past couple of years,” said Madison County First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe. “Miss McMillan is from the Bethalto area and it is believed that she did know at least one of the victims.”

Uhe added that “the eight days between the time they left Birmingham and got to Bethalto can only be described as a complete reign of terror,” according to KMOV.

Witcher, 41, and McMillan, 28, were captured after authorities in Tennessee passed on a tip that two people wanted for a series of violent crimes there were hiding at a Hazelwood hotel.


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