By Dave Andrusko
Terence Sample has been charged with kidnapping and two counts of murder in the deaths of McKayla Winston, his nine-month-pregnant girlfriend, and her unborn baby.
The 21-year-old Winston and her unborn baby “were found dead off a stretch of desolate roadway in Holmes County on July 1,” The Clarion Ledger reported. “She had gone missing four days earlier.”
The due date for her first child was July 4.
Last Thursday Sample, the son of a justice court judge in nearby Attala County, appeared in court in Holmes County for a preliminary hearing, according to reporter Justin Vicory:
The man charged with kidnapping and killing a pregnant Mississippi woman acted after he learned she planned to keep the baby and not give it up for adoption, the Holmes County district attorney said Thursday before a packed courtroom
The 33-year-old Sample had a paternity hearing scheduled on July 3.
District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver presented her case before Yazoo County Judge Bennie Warrington. According to Vicory’s story
*“Oliver pointed to witnesses and recovered phone communications from the night Winston went missing as proving she met with Sample, and then went missing shortly afterward.”
*Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Captain L.A. Oliver “said witnesses confirmed seeing Winston and Sample and their vehicles at the same location on the same night. One of the witnesses had called and talked to Winston while she was with Sample, Oliver told the court. He said Winston planned on showing Sample pictures of her sonogram.”
*“Winston’s car and phone were discovered in the same location the next day. Her keys were still in the ignition. Her shoes were also found outside the vehicle. Investigators also recovered what appeared to be blood in Sample’s white SUV and on his clothing. “
*”Oliver also testified that while the case was still a missing persons case, Sample initially told investigators he hadn’t spoke to Winston in three weeks to a month. That turned out to be untrue when investigators discovered the messages in Winston’s phone. “
Sample’s defense attorney, Richard Carter, said prosecutors were on a “fishing expedition,” Vicory reported. “There’s not one single piece of physical evidence to detain my client and hold him without bail.”
District Attorney Malone-Oliver countered there was multiple circumstantial facts buttressing her case.
“There’s substantial evidence the two were together through their location and communications…Witnesses spotted his vehicle and Makayla’s at the same time period… He first denied contact with Makayla, but that was proved to be false…There’s the possible DNA and article of clothing.”
“We know that he was upset once he realized she was not going to put the baby up for adoption,” she said.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Warrington ruled there was enough probable cause to hold Sample on the charges.