TBI catches most wanted suspect

Staff Reports • Updated Jan 24, 2014 at 10:37 AM

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents captured a recent addition to the state’s top ten most wanted list with the arrest of Stephen Daryl Melton, of Henning.

TBI and U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Task Force agents arrested Melton on Thursday night without incident.

While searching in a wooded area Thursday afternoon, supplies needed for living outdoors were discovered where Melton was believed to be hiding. In the early evening, Melton was found inside a home in Covington. He was taken to Lauderdale County jail.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department and TBI wanted Melton for theft of a motor vehicle, felony escape, initiations of meth manufacture, promotions of meth, possession of prohibited weapon, felony possession of a weapon, evading arrest and felony vandalism.

On Jan. 11, Lauderdale County sheriff’s deputies were called to Melton’s home about drug activity. The homeowner and Melton allowed deputies to search the home, where deputies found numerous weapons, as well as components and materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, TBI agents said. Melton was arrested and put in the backseat of a Lauderdale County patrol SUV. The deputy was summoned back inside the home to gather more evidence. During that time, Melton kicked out a hole in the Plexiglas, crawled into the driver’s seat and stole the deputy’s patrol car. Later in the evening, the patrol car was found crashed into a wooded area on Copper Creek Road near a wildlife refuge.

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