Cherokee Co. murder suspect formally charged - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Cherokee Co. murder suspect formally charged

Vennie Leroy Keaton. Source: Cherokee County Sheriff Department Vennie Leroy Keaton. Source: Cherokee County Sheriff Department
CHEROKEE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The man suspected of killing a 32-year-old woman in Cherokee County has been extradited back to Alabama and is formally charged with her murder.

Vennie Leroy Keaton, 37, is charged with the murder of Melissa Leanne Hudgins. Her body was discovered on the campus of Gadsden State Cherokee campus in Centre on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The same day, multiple law enforcement agencies in Alabama and Tennessee began searching for Keaton as a person of interest in the case. He was later named a suspect in the homicide investigation.

Officials captured Keaton in Cookeville, Tenn. on Friday morning and took him to Cherokee County Friday night.

Authorities say Hudgins worked as a contracted custodial worker employed by a cleaning company based in Anniston, and that Keaton worked with her. Officials have not released any other details about a possible motive or how Hudgins died.

In addition to the murder charge, Keaton was also wanted in both Tennessee and Cherokee County on unrelated theft charges.

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