Local man charged with slaying of Columbiana woman

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

It took Columbiana Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department personnel little time to make an arrest in connection with the slaying of Willie Ree Sutton.

According to Columbiana Police Chief Michael Lann, the stabbing death of the 80-year-old Sutton was discovered in the 400 block of Depot Street by police at about 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 5. He said a concerned neighbor asked police to check on Sutton.

By about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8, Lann reported the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigative unit and Columbiana Police served a warrant for the arrest of 20-year-old Davin Burns of Columbiana, who was charged with first degree murder during the commission of a burglary, a capital offense.

Lann said the warrant was served at the sheriff’s office shortly after Burns came in for questioning.

Burns is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond.

According to Lann, the victim had been known for sitting with other elderly senior citizens and was well respected in the community.

Lann said once discovered, the sheriff’s office was immediately called for assistance in processing the crime scene.

He also said the district attorney’s office was called &uot;as we like to do in all major crimes.&uot;

Lann said law enforcement worked the crime scene until late in the night the day the body was discovered and began developing leads in the case.

He said the District Attorney’s Office assisted both departments throughout each stage of the investigation.

Lann pointed out that Columbiana Police Department would like to thank both Sheriff Chris Curry and District Attorney Robby Owens for the overwhelming support received from their departments during the course of the investigation.

Lann said Sheriff Curry assigned his investigative unit to the case and stressed,

&uot;There is no way we would have been able to obtain a warrant as fast as we did without the sheriff’s office’s assistance.&uot;

Lann, who has been involved in law enforcement for 17 years said: &uot;I’ve never seen a spirit of cooperation and a willingness to assist between agencies like I’ve seen here in Shelby County.&uot;

And he said of the assistance provided by Owens, who put in many late hours, &uot;It says a lot for our county.&uot;

Capt. Chris Corbell of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department said his department is &uot;going to continue to assist the Columbiana Police Department in the investigation of this case.&uot;

According to Lann, Burns was recently released from prison serving an 18-month sentence for a previous burglary conviction