The man accused of killing his girlfriend and their unborn child was denied bond during his court appearance Wednesday in a Mississippi court.
The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reported that Terrence K. Sample, 33, is facing two counts of murder for the deaths of Makayla Winston, 21, and her unborn child. Holmes County District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver said an appointed judge is presiding over the case because two Holmes County court judges know Sample’s mother, who’s a judge in Attala County.
Sample was arrested hours after Winston was found dead Monday afternoon on Franklin Road in Holmes County. Winston, who was due to give birth this Thursday, left her Goodman home on June 27 and never returned, according to reports.
The deceased woman’s mother told WLBT that she was on her way to show the baby’s father a sonogram when she disappeared.
Holmes County Sheriff Willie March previously said a worker spotted Winston’s body on a deserted road after spotting birds swarming over it. Since then, Holmes County District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver revealed that Sample’s relative had found Winston’s body near his property.
Winston’s body was found approximately five miles from the intersection of Highway 14 and Interstate 55, where her car was reportedly located with the keys in the ignition. A white SUV matching the description of a vehicle owned by Sample was allegedly also seen at the intersection.
Winston’s cellphone was discovered in the grass near her vehicle but it had been erased. Local authorities and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation were reportedly in the process of recovering text messages from the phone.
While Sample has been characterized as Winston’s boyfriend, March said he claimed they weren’t in a relationship. The sheriff revealed that Sample is believed to have been in a relationship with another woman who is being questioned, according to the Ledger.
Offering a possible motive, March alleged that Sample and Winston came into contact on the night of her disappearance.
“[Agents] went over and interviewed [Sample] and he said that he hadn’t spoke to [Winston] in so many days, but the texts said something different,” March said, according to WAPT. “If I was dating a young lady, I sure wouldn’t text her and say [that] to her. So, yeah, there was a sign that he probably didn’t want this baby.”
Including Mississippi, 38 states have fetal homicide laws which allow criminal charges to be filed in the death of an unborn child.
Sample was also charged with kidnapping. WAPT reported that Winston’s body was transported to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
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[Featured image: Terrence K. Sample/Holmes County Sheriff’s Department; Makayla Winston/National Center for Missing and Exploited]