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Washington County triple murder suspect cuts neck before court appearance

Becky Campbell, Johnson City Press • Jan 3, 2018 at 2:39 PM

A Fall Branch man charged in a triple homicide that left a couple and their unborn child dead in their home last month was scheduled for arraignment in the case Wednesday, but he was hospitalized Tuesday night after an apparent attempted suicide.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Operation Officer Leighta Laitinen, Derrick Benjamin Sells cut his throat and caused a serious, but not life threatening, injury Tuesday night. He was transported to an area hospital and was expected to be released Wednesday afternoon, so the arraignment was rescheduled for Thursday.

Sells, 33, was indicted by a special-called Washington County grand jury Dec.18 on three counts of first degree murder, three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated child abuse/neglect after investigators followed leads that took them to him. He’s accused of killing Robert Aaron ‘Rac” Vaughn, 25 and his wife, Kyanna Howes Vaughn, 24, on Dec. 3 inside their Friendship Court mobile home in Boones Creek. The child neglect charge stemmed from Sells leaving the couple’s two young children alone with no one to care for them.

The couple had married in July and were expecting their first child together, but according to friends and family comments on social media, Robert Vaughn treated the two kids as his own.

For more on this story, visit the Johnson City Press.


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