Marnita Bynum loved to bop like a girl becoming an adult in Galesburg, Illinois. She would be a constant supply of fun and laughter, based on relatives, and possessed this type of bubbly personality that they was nicknamed “Champagne.”
Which was years before she married Melvin Bynum, whom she met at St. Augustine College in New York. Together they created the Cry Aloud Ministries in Sanford, NC, about 35 miles from Raleigh.
Melvin was the pastor from the church, a situation with authority and power. She was the very first lady, as well as in that role she spearheaded youth development and acted like a mentor. The pair labored alongside and attempted to provide a picture of perfection — but after twenty years of marriage, cracks within their ideal lives grew to become harder to hide.
On August 2, 2014, things required a surprising and tragic turn. Marnita, 40, was discovered strangled to dying in a corner of her vehicle. The automobile have been abandoned on the rural road which was a county from Sanford.
Maj. Jay Childers, from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, understood something was horribly amiss even while he contacted the automobile. He was hit through the odor of a decomposing body, he told “Killer Motive,” airing Saturdays at 6/5c on Archiweekend.
The crime scene was dusted for fingerprints and DNA evidence. Investigators found no indication that Marnita have been sexually assaulted or indications of blunt pressure trauma. However, they did find divorce papers for Marnita and Melvin Bynum.
When government bodies broke this news of his wife’s dying to Melvin, 45, they stated he “shed a couple of tears” and then was rapidly to being all business. They discovered the pastor hadn’t seen his wife in 2 days, as well as in their opinion, he didn’t appear particularly worried about that.
Melvin, however, stated that carrying out a vacation, the pair was deciding whether to go forward using the divorce or reconcile. They’d stored their marital tumult privately to safeguard their public image.
He permitted investigators to search their home, where they found no indications of challenging or evidence that the crime happened there. Combined with the couple’s sons, Melvin claimed he was clueless that who may wish to kill Marnita.
Indeed, she would be a lady with lots of buddies. At her funeral on August 7, throngs of individuals, as much as 1,500, compensated their respects towards the Cry Out Loud first lady.
“She was beloved,” Gordon Anderson, former reporter for that Sanford Herald, told “Killer Motive.”
Police, meanwhile, grappled with the truth that strangulations make difficult cases due to the insufficient physical evidence. Marnita’s DNA was located on the belt, but nobody else’s was, based on Michael Parker, Richmond County Da.
Simultaneously there have been no surveillance cameras close to the location where Marnita’s body was discovered. One witness came toward state that he saw someone close to the vehicle but he couldn’t see that person.
Dealing with the data that they, officials eliminated Melvin’s sons and another youthful man who resided using the Bynums. However, the analysis hit a stonewall once they attempted to speak to church congregants. It had been as if a gag order have been enforced. An organization inside the ministry known as “Armor Bearers” rose as much as safeguard Melvin having a wall of silence.
Government bodies considered the greater than 24 people from the group as potential suspects and eliminated every one of them through a painstaking process. Within the finish, though, they found absolutely nothing to link the Armor Bearers to Marnita’s grisly murder.
What investigators did uncover could be that the Bynums’ carefully-cultivated personas were shams. He was getting matters with various women within the church. She was dating multiple men.
This thought stirred up a possible motive for murder. Once more, officials labored their way with the men and women Melvin and Marnita were correspondingly associated with before the well of suspects was dry.
By now, police still didn’t have forensic or physical evidence, however their accusations about Melvin had deepened. Through interviews they found that Melvin monitored Marnita’s every move.
Detectives theorized that Marnita’s emerging independence was an affront to a control freak. However that only agreed to be an idea — and there is a wide gap between exactly what a prosecutor suspects, knows, and may prove, government bodies told “Killer Motive.”
Because it was starting to seem like the crime may go unsolved, investigators found that Melvin, who stated he didn’t possess a mobile phone, really had one out of certainly one of his son’s names.
Mobile phone records demonstrated that Melvin have been on the telephone and among his female friends inside a flurry of calls around the nights the murder. Reports demonstrated that a number of individuals calls pinged off a tower located near where Marnita’s vehicle have been left.
This evidence was “a game-changer,” based on investigators. They deemed that lengthy-simmering tensions between your couple exploded early in the day hrs of This summer 30 and Melvin saw murder because the way he can keep the independent-minded Marnita from divorcing him.
18 days after Marnita was wiped out, Melvin Bynum was charged with first-degree murder. Requested by “Killer Motive” host Troy Roberts to her response to the arrest at that time, the victim’s friend stated, “Why’d it take such a long time?”
After negotiating a plea deal, charges against Melvin were dropped to voluntary wrongful death. He was sentenced to a maximum of seven years imprisonment. He was released in December 2009.
Marnita’s buddies and family felt that justice wasn’t done, they told producers. At that time, officials likened the offer to enabling anyone to “get away with murder.”
After figuring out that Melvin had traded preaching for haircutting, Roberts visited his barber shop and requested for any comment about Marnita’s murder.
“That’s over and done,” Melvin stated, before closing the doorway.
To understand more about the situation, watch “Killer Motive,” airing Saturdays at 6/5c on Archiweekend, or stream episodes on Archiweekend.com.