Tuskegee Murder Suspect Behind Bars

By Eileen Jones - bio | email

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Police think they now know who killed a Macon County retired teacher whose body was found July 18th. At first police thought she burned to death when her house caught on fire but they later learned it was set on fire to cover-up her murder.

It's been almost four months since the 79 year old, retired teacher died and was buried. Mary Hagins was a long time resident of Macon County but was killed in her home on the Old Montgomery Road, and it's taken police until now to find the person who they think did it.

Tuskegee Police Chief Lester Patrick says, "We got her from her home and she was a suspect. She's been a suspect from pretty much the whole time of the investigation."

44 year old Brenda Marshal was taken into custody late Monday afternoon and police believe the two knew each other. "The victim and Mrs. Marshall were acquaintances. They were neighbors. So, they did have a relationship as neighbors," says Patrick.

Police also say they don't want to reveal much for fear of hampering their investigation, but they do say Marshal is currently in jail accused of capital murder for two possible crimes. Police say she not only the murdered Hagins but also set her house on fire to cover up the crime. And, Patrick says, there's a possible third charge too. "We're looking at another potential charge at this time that made it a capital case also. Is that robbery? Well, the victim was robbed yes. Money, material things? Money right now. How much? Can't say right now."

Brenda Marshal is currently in the Macon County jail and there's no bond for her because it's a capital murder case.

She also has not had her first appearance in court yet.  That's when the judge will read the charges against her and find out if she has legal representation.