Breaking: Helena double homicide suspect John Peyton Scott III arrested in Florida

Published 3:44 pm Monday, January 24, 2022

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HELENA – After five days on the run, John Peyton Scott III has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a double homicide that took place in Helena on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Scott, 41, was arrested on Monday, Jan. 24 in St. Augustine, Florida after arrest warrants were issued by the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force on Sunday night, Jan. 23.

He was immediately taken into custody in St. Augustine. Detectives with the Helena Police Department and the task force are making travel arrangements for Scott to be brought back to Shelby County.

Scott was a person of interest by the police and the task force from the start of the investigation after they were called to the 100 block of Piney Woods Drive in Helena on Jan. 19.

Upon arrival, the police discovered that 40-year-old Sharon Tarwater Whited and 75-year-old Chester E Tarwater Jr. had both died.

It was quickly determined that foul play was involved and an investigation into the double homicide began.

The police had been searching for Scott with good leads on his location before he was caught on Monday.

Police were called to the scene on Jan. 19 when a 12-year-old grandson of the couple at the address came home and found his grandfather unresponsive. The boy then called the fire department, who determined the man was deceased upon arrival. The fire department then called the Helena Police Department.

Upon arrival, Flynn said officers found one subject down that they determined was deceased. Flynn said during the subsequent search of the house, they found another individual who was also deceased.

According to Flynn, Scott was in a domestic relationship with Whited, and several additional family members who were not present at the time also live at the residence. Flynn said there was no record of any past issues or calls to the residence.

Flynn said the police department has received a significant amount of support from the community.

“We’ve received a significant amount of support for the family members as well as support for the investigation. The community is very supportive of the effort that’s being done to try to find the answers and find who is responsible for this, and as a result we’re getting a lot of positive information and positive tips that we are tracking down.”

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