Few people get away with murder. Those with lots of money, who know like-minded individuals several zip codes away might stay off the grid for a while but the knock, on the door, will come some day.
George Edward Wright was originally arrested and convicted for murder in 1962 and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. He was the aforementioned, rich and connected — escaped from prison in 1970 and hijacked a Delta Air Lines flight in 1972 with a number of accomplices.
Wright, lived under the name of José Luís Jorge dos Santos, had no known occupation, but allegedly at one point owned a BBQ chicken restaurant, sold items at a stall along a popular tourist beach, and worked as a bouncer at a local bar.
Jorge dos Santos lived a quiet life, a painter, a cook, a husband and a father in an idyllic seaside town in Portugal.
Then one day a fingerprint led investigators to conclude that he was actually George Wright, an American, a convicted murderer.
That was 2011. At the other end of the spectrum are Andrego Gaston, 34 and Roy Miller, 39 who are wanted for “questioning” for a couple murders which took place in center of Verona on Sept. 17.
They might have slipped outside Mississippi, though it’s doubtful, but they certainly aren’t in Portugal. Verona Police Chief Marsenio Nunn said the shooting happened at Young Drive and Main Street.
Thomas Tre Guido, 35, of Okolona and Harvey Lee Russell, 58, of Verona were pronounced dead after being transported to North Mississippi Medical Center.
Guido appeared to have been shot in the back. At first, witnesses told Nunn that Russell had been struck by the suspect’s vehicle as he left the scene.
“Initially they said the old guy got run over, but the coroner later discovered he was ‘possibly’ shot,” Nunn said.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green transfered both bodies to the state crime lab in Pearl to determine cause of death.
“I was notified last Thursday, about 8:30 p.m., that we were assisting the Verona Police Department with a shooting on Main Street. We knew there were two victims and the suspect left the scene, in what they believed to be a red Impala (2007 or 2008),” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “I contacted the police chief, we were a supporting agency,” Johnson explained. “They (VPD) were going to be reviewing some video surveillance from the area, where it happened.”
Though law enforcement can’t say what the motive was, there are whisperings the case is drug related.
“The next day, about 1 p.m., (Friday, Sept. 18) I contacted the police chief again to offer assistance and that’s when he (Nunn) mentioned Roy Miller as a suspect,” Johnson said. “He also said they were working on getting an arrest warrant.”
Miller was no stranger to the Lee County Jail, having been booked in at least nine times on over 20 charges, many drug related.
“At that particular time, I was able to obtain a photograph (of Miller) because he’d been in here so many times,” Johnson said. “Later that day, about 5 p.m., he (Nunn) said they were looking for Andrego Gaston too. Then I specifically asked if they had filed charges against them? His exact response was ‘no’ we’re only looking for them for questioning in the shooting.”
Gaston had nearly 50 charges and had been booked into the jail 18 times.
“He (Gaston), from my understanding had just been released from the department of corrections,” Johnson said. “We did get two or three tips from Crimestoppers, which I forwarded to Verona so they could follow up.”
Gaston was once, about 2012, charged with bringing cocaine into the jail. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) have spread a wide net across the state and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which is run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is actively searching for the convicts.
The NCIC is an electronic clearinghouse of crime data that can be tapped into by virtually every criminal justice agency nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“We still don’t have them,” Nunn said. “We did get a call that Gaston was headed towards Atlanta, but we don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ve heard nothing about Miller’s whereabouts.”
If one of them did make the approximate four hour drive to Atlanta, he would still have to stay way, way under the radar. And wherever they are holed up, their relatives or ‘friends’ are getting jumpy.
If the crime was burglary, law enforcement might pull back a little, and just wait and see. With a double-murder law enforcement will look and listen day and night, until Gaston and Miller are behind bars.
Crimestoppers will offer money, and it doesn’t matter if it’s $500 or $1,000 —those jumpy friends are going to envision a cash register ringing.
Any information should be directed to the Verona Police Department, 566-2215; the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, 841-9041 or Northeast Mississippi CrimeStopprs, 1-800-773-8477.