Police find car belonging to senior couple murdered in Fort Lauderdale; 1 charged

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Detectives found a car belonging to a senior couple murdered in their Fort Lauderdale home, police said Wednesday. A suspect is facing charges in connection with the vehicle stolen from the couple’s driveway.

The red Ford Fusion belonged to Claudette and Major Melvin, both in their 80s, who were shot to death on March 22 at their home on Southwest 30th Terrace. They had lived in that home for 50 years.

Police told Local 10 News on Wednesday that after discovering the vehicle at a tow yard, they arrested Maurice Anthony Newson, 30, of Davie, on May 23 on charges of theft of a motor vehicle and dealing in stolen property.

Stolen vehicle of Major and Claudette Melvin (WPLG)

According to Newson’s arrest warrant, police had been tipped off about the vehicle on April 4 after a man flagged down a patrol officer in Fort Lauderdale.

That man told the officer that “the red vehicle seen all over the news related to the double homicide” was parked at 600 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in Wilton Manors, the warrant states.

Newson was “responsible for selling the vehicle to the tow yard,” a Fort Lauderdale police spokesperson said. Police said he took it on the same day the Melvins were killed, represented it as his own car and sold it for $200.

Records show it was driven from the Melvins’ home to the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail station at 5910 NW Ninth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

According to an arrest warrant, family members told police that Newson “had been coming around the home following the homicide, ‘acting strange’, and asking a lot of questions about what detectives were saying about the investigation.”

Newson was, at one point, in a relationship with the Melvins’ granddaughter, according to police. She voluntarily submitted to a polygraph test and detectives say she was “untruthful on the question of being involved in the death of her grandparents.”

The Melvins’ granddaughter gave conflicting information regarding who would inherit the Melvins’ home. She told police during one interview that she and her mother would be the sole heirs. In another interview, she said she was not in line to get the home, the warrant states

Maurice Newson (WPLG)

Online records show Newson is no longer jailed. Court records show he was released on a $10,000 bond and was required to submit to electronic monitoring; he’s pleaded not guilty.

“This is an ongoing investigation and detectives are working diligently to determine Newson’s involvement, if any, in the murders,” the spokesperson said. “We encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers, which is offering a reward in the case, at 954-493-8477.