Woman charged with murder of man found in Burkville

Published 9:34 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

Tasha Atchison, 29, of Montgomery, is has been arrested in relation to the death of Paul Tatum, Jr.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Montgomery Police have arrested a 29-year-old woman in the death of a 65-year-old Montgomery man whose body was found in Lowndes County Sunday afternoon.

According to Montgomery Police Public Relations Liaison Sgt. R. L. Duckett, 29-year-old Tasha Atchison has been arrested in the connection with the death of 65-year-old Paul Tatum Jr., who was reported missing by his family Sunday.

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Atchison was charged with murder and transported to the Montgomery County Detention Facility where she was being held under a $75,000 bond, Duckett said.

She said MPD’s investigation began Sunday, at approximately 11 a.m. when police received a report of a missing person.

Officers made contact with the complainant, Tatum’s stepson, who advised that Tatum had not been seen since Saturday.

“MPD units then went to Tatum’s residence in the 100 block of Longview Court, where they were unable to locate Tatum, but instead discovered indications of foul play,” Duckett said.

The body of “a white male in his late 60 was found down in Burkville on Frederick Douglass Road around 2:36 p.m. (Sunday), and the case was turned over to the Montgomery Police Department,” Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams said.

Williams said his office received several calls, but while the body was found in Lowndes County, the case is being investigated by Montgomery Police.

At approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, Duckett said, agents of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation located a body later identified as Tatum’s in Lowndes County off Alabama 21.

“Tatum had sustained fatal wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” she said.

“MPD’s initial investigation indicates that Tatum and Atchison, who were acquaintances, had been involved in a verbal altercation that escalated,” Duckett said.

She said MPD’s investigation is continuing and this is Montgomery’s 16th homicide of 2012.

Duckett noted that a criminal charge is an accusation and the defendant is assumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.