Man Who Murdered Couple Pleads Guilty After Almost Six Years of Delays Receives Life Sentence

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2008
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Tyrone Vaughan pled guilty to two counts of murder in an almost six year old case where James and Lorayne Ward were robbed and killed. The defendant entered his plea of guilty after testimony began, but prior to the case being submitted to the jury for their deliberations. He received a life sentence.

In February 2003, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department responded to a house fire where they found two victims that had been shot and burned to death. They also determined that one of the victim’s cars was missing. During the course of their investigation, law enforcement officials were able to find the victims’ car on property that is owned by Vaughan’s family. In addition to finding the car, they also found the female victim’s purse in the woods not far from where the car was located.

A search warrant was later issued for Vaughan’s residence. In addition, an arrest warrant for Vaughan was issued. Once inside of Vaughan’s residence, officials found bullets, a knife taken from Mr. Ward, and a newspaper article about the incident.

During their interview with Vaughan, law enforcement officials were also able to determine that he had thrown one of the victim’s ring into a ditch across the street from his residence. The ring was recovered and held for evidence.

Guest stated, “Tyrone Vaughan participated in a heinous crime in which an elderly couple was robbed, murdered, and their house burned down in an attempt to cover up his crime. Vaughan had no sympathy for his victims and today he finally received the justice that he deserved.”

Guest added, “This case is another example of how criminal defendants try to work the system in their favor. Almost six years have passed before the family could see Vaughan brought to justice. Vaughan will now spend the rest of his life in Parchman. I hope and pray that this conviction and sentence will help bring closure to the Ward family.”