The Bay County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of three individuals in connection to the homicide of Wallace Scott. Scott’s body was discovered on April 6, 2013 when neighbors noticed he had not been seen for a few days. They found a door open and went inside, calling the Bay County Sheriff’s Office when they found his body. Investigators now believe that Scott was murdered on April 4, 2013.
BCSO Criminal Investigators developed Sherri Mercer and Deborah Cupp as potential suspects when they discovered Mercer and Cupp had taken a credit card from Scott and used it fraudulently. Mercer and Cupp had been caregivers for the 90 year old Scott. Mercer was named as beneficiary on Scott’s will. Investigators learned that Scott had made an appointment for April 8, 2013, to remove her from his will. Mercer and Cupp were arrested. Mercer was charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and Cupp as Principal to Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.
Investigators then developed David Challender, Kevin Jeffries, and Ashley Nicole Griffin as suspects in the homicide. Challender and Jeffries are related to Sherri Mercer. A search warrant was served on Jeffries’ father Darrell Goldsmith home and property belonging to Scott was found.
On April 12, investigators learned that Ashley Nicole Griffin was in the Bainbridge or Donaldsonville, Georgia area. They located her in the early morning hours of April 13, 2013, and brought her back to Florida. She was charged with an Open Count of Murder.
Later on April 13, Jeffries was found at a convenience store in Holmes County, Florida and arrested. Challender was arrested at his father’s home at 2282 Old Mill Road in Caryville, Florida. Both were charged with an Open Count of Murder.
BCSO REPORT Prepared by R. Corley WITH Information by Capt. J. Stanford
Scott Homicide Timeline
April 4, 2013 Wallace Scott is killed.
April 6, 2013 Neighbors notice they have not seen Mr. Scott in a few days. Concerned, they enter his home and discover his body. Bay County Sheriff’s Office responds to home and investigation into the death of Wallace Scott begins.
BCSO Criminal Investigators quickly discover that Sherri Mercer and Deborah Cupp, both former caregivers of Mr. Scott, have stolen and fraudulently used his credit card and bank checks. They are arrested and Mercer is charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, Cupp is charged with Principal to Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.
(Also arrested at this time is Wes Vannostrand, Mercer’s boyfriend, on an outstanding warrant for Failure to Appear on a charge of No Valid Driver’s License. It is believed that Vannostrand is not connected to the Scott Homicide.)
Investigators continue to work day and night on this investigation, often in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in Georgia and Alabama as well as Florida.
April 12, 2013 Investigators develop David Challender, Kevin Jeffries, and Ashley Nicole Griffin as primary suspects in the murder of Wallace Scott and the manhunt begins.
FDLE worked closely with the BCSO and rushed the processing of forensic evidence in this case which led to identification of one of the suspects.
A search warrant is served at the home of Kevin Jeffries’ father, Darrell Goldsmith, in Slocomb, Alabama. Jewelry identified by Scott family members as belonging to Wallace Scott and an antique record player from the home of Wallace Scott is found.
It is learned that Ashely Nicole Griffin is in the Bainbridge and Donaldsonville, Georgia area.
April 13, 2013 During the early morning hours on Sunday, Griffin is located in Donaldsonville, Georgia, and is brought back to Bay County, Florida. She is later charged with the murder of Wallace Scott.
Later the same day, Jeffries is found at a convenience store in Holmes County, Florida, and arrested. Challender is arrested at his father’s home at 2282 Old Mill Road in Caryville, Florida. Both are charged with the murder of Wallace Scott. Property belonging to Scott is found in the possession of all three suspects.