Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:40 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:40:29 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department issued a city watch for a 12-year-old boy Wednesday night. Robert McBride II was last seen leaving his residence on foot on Jamaica Avenue. He has a mohawk, andMore >>
The Memphis Police Department canceled a city watch for a 12-year-old boy Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:24 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:24:43 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis skateboard shop was going under until the Grizzlies' big wins, that is when owner Hunter Demster started selling T-shirts. The "Grind City" shirts saved his Midtown business whichMore >>
A Memphis skateboard shop was going under until the Grizzlies' big wins, that is when owner Hunter Demster started selling T-shirts.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:11 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:11:49 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Cleanup has begun amid the rubble Oklahoma City Wednesday where an EF-5 tornado devastated the Moore community. More than 13,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, causing possibly $2 billionMore >>
Cleanup has begun amid the rubble Oklahoma City Wednesday where an EF-5 tornado devastated the Moore community.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:00 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:00:22 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis mother defends her teenage son who is charged with murdering someone at a graduation party. Rebecca Miller and her son are anything but strangers to Action News 5. Our station helpedMore >>
A Memphis mother defends her teenage son who is charged with murdering someone at a graduation party.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC TV) - Ten days before Memphis police took control of the city's impound lot, the lot's officials sold a mother's vehicle that was state's evidence in her son's murder investigation.
The vehicle, a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am, was owned free and clear by Melody Thomas. Thomas' son, Steven Austin, was driving the car when he was shot dead May 10, 2011, at the intersection of Baltic St. and Faxon Ave in Binghampton.
"His girlfriend called, and she was all...I mean, she was hollering," said Thomas, "and she told me he got shot.
"And I'm thinking hospital visits, you know, he'll be home. But when I got there, it was indescribable."
Records from the Memphis Impound Lot, 465 Klinke Ave., indicated its staff sent Thomas what's called a "C-Letter," postmarked four days after her son's death (May 14, 2011). The letter informed her that her car was on the lot and to claim it within 30 days.
Thomas said when she called to claim it, officials told her it could not be released because of the homicide investigation.
"They told me it was on hold," she said.
Records revealed lot officials followed up with a certified letter -- sent with return receipt requested -- May 26, 2011, to Thomas' Binghampton address. The letter was sent to notify Thomas her car would be sold at auction either June 14 or June 21, 2011, unless she claimed it.
But both the record and Memphis Police Investigative Services Deputy Chief Dave Martello confirmed Thomas never signed for the certified letter.
"This one was not signed for," said Martello.
Despite no acknowledgement of Thomas being contacted, lot officials sold her car at auction June 21, 2011, to a recycling company for $450.
"Can you tell me how you sold my car without calling me or contacting me?" asked Thomas. "My son's wallet was in that car, his driver's license, Social Security card, two cell phones...not to mention it was evidence in a homicide."
"Our crime scene investigators processed the car at their lot," said Martello. "So we had already retrieved the information and the evidence we needed from the vehicle."
"That is correct," confirmed Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich. "It has been processed for scientific evidence, and we will begin that process, working with the labs and our office and MPD to find out what's in there."
At Action News 5's request, police checked the department's property room for anything that might have been removed from Thomas' vehicle. Department spokesperson Sgt. Karen Rudolph said a cell phone pulled from the vehicle was tagged and inventoried, but no wallet or identification.
Martello assured the Action News 5 Investigators that Austin's personal items or identification would not have been sold with the vehicle.
July 1, 2011 -- ten days after the vehicle's sale -- the Memphis Police Department took control of the impound lot from the city's General Services in what amounted to a house-cleaning.
Mayor AC Wharton had already suspended an entire shift for multiple thefts of property from vehicles stored on the lot. Former lot supervisor Rickey Shotwell was fired and arrested for aiding, abetting and sharing in the theft of items pilfered from impounded vehicles.
With Martello's oversight, the police department has hired new personnel and implemented policies at the lot to make sure property, as well as vehicles, don't disappear again.
"Now every effort is going to be made to try to make sure that the person who is listed as the registered owner of that vehicle is notified, whether it is by telephone or certified mail," Martello said.
A suspect - Larry Charles Price, Jr. - has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in Austin's killing. Weirich insisted Price's prosecution will be full-steam ahead, a solid case with documented evidence.
Thomas hasn't decided whether to hire an attorney to attempt to collect damages in the loss of her vehicle.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:32 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:32:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage. One Germantown family said it only took one infected tick to change their entire lifestyle – something they have been dealing withMore >>
It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 20:46:13 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The man accused of killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon. Action News 5's Nick Kenney was there as Timothy McKinney was released. McKinney was accused ofMore >>
The man who pleaded guilty to killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:33 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:33:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The City of Memphis is saying "goodbye and good riddance" to blight. A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is nowMore >>
A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is now being demolished.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:48:12 GMT
(WMC-TV) - More jobs are coming to Memphis and city leaders are rolling out the red carpet to celebrate. Kruger Products is a leading nationwide towel and tissue manufacturer. The company announced theyMore >>
A Canadian company announced that are adding hundreds of jobs to its North Memphis office. Kruger Products rolled out the red carpet Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the expansion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:48:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered. Frances Chambers has spent the past four years and a lot of money investigating the death of her son Demond. Police in herMore >>
A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered, despite the medical examiner's report. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:10:09 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system. Action News 5's Justin Hanson is speaking to longtime MCS teachers and volunteersMore >>
Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:22:48 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department fired two of its officers Wednesday. Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and violate regulation. In February, thereMore >>
Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and aid to violate regulation.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >>
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:49 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:49:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday. Inside Louise Rinhart's home is not much better. "Carpet and I got hardwoodMore >>
A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:13 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:13:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday. The firefighters offered piggyback rides to children toMore >>
Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday.More >>