Capital murder warrants obtained for John Peyton Scott III in Helena double homicide

Published 6:43 am Monday, January 24, 2022

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HELENA – Capital murder warrants have been obtained for a Helena man in relation to a double homicide that occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force obtained two warrants for the arrest of John Peyton Scott III late on Sunday, Jan. 23, both for capital murder.

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.

Since, the police have been searching for Scott but have been unable to locate him.

HPD said Scott should be considered armed and dangerous.

The investigation is still underway, and the search for John Peyton Scott III is ongoing.

The Helena Police Department said they expect additional information to be released on Monday or Tuesday related to the status of the investigation and the search for Scott.

Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn described Scott as a 41-year-old standing at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 275 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

As of the last update from police, Scott was believed to be driving a red 2020 Ford EcoSport with the Alabama tag DV47860.

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.

Flynn confirmed that it was one male and one female and that foul play is suspected. Nothing was taken from the residence.

Flynn said it was a long night, and they continue to work the investigation.

“We will work diligently and nonstop to bring the person responsible for this crime to justice,” Flynn said. “Major Crimes detectives are also being assisted by local, state and federal agencies as they conduct this investigation, and we are very appreciative for their assistance as well.”

According to Flynn, Scott was in a domestic relationship with one of the victims, 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.

When asked if he had anything to say to Scott, Flynn replied, “Please call us. We just want to talk to you. We know that he has to be upset and worried, and we want to speak with him and try to arrange a time to sit down and talk.”

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

“We’ve received 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.”

Flynn said anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Scott or any information that may aid to this investigation should contact Detective Michael Nelson at the Helena Police Department at 205-663-6499 or through email at

For updates on this story, continue to follow