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Alabama Man Arrested In Florida After Allegedly Killing His Girlfriend, Her Father

John Peyton Scott III was arrested in Florida on Monday for the murders of his girlfriend, Sharon Tarwater, and her father, Chester Tarwater, in Alabama last Wednesday.

By Jax Miller
Alabama Man Arrested For Killing Girlfriend, Her Father

An Alabama man was arrested in Florida after police say he killed his girlfriend and her father before fleeing the state, police say.

John Peyton Scott III, 41, was arrested on Monday in St. Augustine, Florida for the murders of his girlfriend, Sharon Tarwater, 40, and her father, Chester “Chuck” Tarwater, 75, in Helena, Alabama, according to the Helena Police Department. Authorities say Scott killed the two last Wednesday at the home he shared with the victims and three of their other family members, nearly 500 miles from where he was eventually apprehended. 

On the day of the double homicide, Sharon Tarwater's 12-year-old son came home shortly before 3:30 p.m. and found his grandfather's body in the hallway. Chester Tarwater’s wife, who suffers from dementia, was also in the home but the child found her unharmed before going a neighbor’s house to get help, the Alabama Media Group reported.

Sharon Tarwater’s body was found in another room by police after they arrived, the newspaper reported. 

The 12-year-old boy and his 16-year-old brother are currently being cared for by the Alabama Department of Human resources, according to the paper.

The day after the murder, Helena Police and the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force issued an alert for Scott, who was believed to be driving a red 2020 Ford EcoSport, Alabama Media Group reported. (The vehicle, which had a disabled veteran license plate, belonged to Chester Tarwater, according to later reports.) 

The alert also informed neighboring law enforcement agencies that Scott could be in possession of a long rifle and handgun and warned that Scott was armed, dangerous and reportedly on antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. Police said the suspect experienced hallucinations.

It also stated that evidence found at the crime scene indicated Scott could have been injured during the altercation.

John Peyton Scott Iii Pd

A double arrest warrant for capital murder was issued for Scott on Sunday, according to the Helena Police.

Scott was apprehended in Florida on Monday, according to the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies spotted his vehicle and apprehended him near the intersection of I-95 and International Golf Parkway in St. Augustine. 

Scott was booked into the St. John’s County Jail. The address for him listed in police records matches the home where the Tarwaters lived. 

The murders came as a shock to those who knew the Tarwaters.

“Her and her dad did not deserve anything like this,” family friend Allison Proctor told ABC affiliate WBMA News.

“I miss her, I love her, I love her family and her kids,” she added. “I know everyone who knew her is hurt badly.”

Sharon Chester Tarwater Fb

Scott made his first court appearance in Florida on Tuesday morning, according tothe  Alabama Media Group. He told St. John’s County Court Judge Alexander R. Christine Jr. that he could not afford a lawyer but claimed, “I do have some questions.”

Christine explained Scott’s options regarding whether or not he chose to fight or waive extradition back to Alabama. Christine agreed with Scott when the defendant said he needed to “talk to a lawyer before I make a decision.”

Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn held a press conference on Tuesday, during which he addressed the Tarwaters’ family, according to AL.com.

“We cannot begin to understand the grief you feel on the loss of your loved ones,” said Flynn. “I hope the news of this arrest will bring you some small semblance of peace during this terrible time. Your family were valued members of our community, and their loss is felt throughout their city.”

Flynn refused to comment on the victims’ cause of death or Scott’s injuries when asked by reporters.

Scott is being held without bond. More information is expected in the coming days.