A convicted felon was extradited to Lee County Thursday after being indicted earlier this month for a violent 2006 murder in Opelika, Ala.
Arthaniel Staton, 58, was indicted for murder Aug. 7 in the stabbing death of Melanie Lovelace on Nov. 29, 2006.
He was arrested Wednesday and had been held as a fugitive in the Muscogee County Jail.
Staton previously had been arrested for the crime in late 2006, but the grand jury did not return an indictment.
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The Lee County District Attorney’s office declined to comment Thursday on what new evidence may have arisen in the years since, but Opelika police confirm they have been working with the DA and said more details would be released Friday.
On that Wednesday in 2006, officers found a wounded Lovelace at about 6 a.m., lying on her bedroom floor in her South Third Street home. She’d been stabbed in the throat, according to an affidavit, and was soon pronounced dead.
Two of Lovelace’s young children were present in the home. Her 9-year-old son told police at the time that he saw Staton leave Lovelace’s bedroom “with a bloody knife, blood on his clothes and run from the residence,” according to the affidavit.
Police say they soon found blood inside a blue Plymouth Horizon, parked at Staton’s Opelika residence.
Staton has previously been arrested in Russell, St. Clair and Muscogee counties, as well as by Atlanta police; and he has been convicted for aggravated assault and grand larceny, among other charges.