OPD Investigation Nets Indictment
August 15, 2014
The Opelika Police Department
began an investigation into the Murder of Melanie Darchelle Lovelace in 2006.
Ms. Lovelace was found stabbed to death in her home on South 3rd
Street in Opelika at approximately 6:00 A.M. on November 29, 2006. A suspect
was developed in the case at that time; Arthaniel Bernard Stanton, who was Ms.
Lovelace’s boyfriend. Stanton, who was 50 years old at the time, was
subsequently arrested on a warrant for Murder pursuant to that investigation.
The case was later presented to a Grand Jury which returned a “No-Bill”, and
Stanton was not indicted. The detectives of the Opelika Police Department
continued to investigate the case thoroughly and left no stone unturned. Their
continued vigilance and dedication to the victim and her family led them to
discover new evidence recently. That evidence was taken to the Lee County
District Attorney, Robbie Treese, who presented the case along with the new
evidence to a Lee County Grand Jury last week. That Grand Jury handed down a
Murder Indictment on Staton. Staton, who is now 58 years old, was located and
arrested in Muscogee County, Georgia, earlier this week for that Indictment.
Staton waived extradition and was brought back to Alabama on Thursday,
08/14/14. Staton was subsequently booked into the Lee County Detention Center
where he awaits further court proceedings. The detectives of the Opelika Police
Department have tirelessly continued to work this case, and are continuing
their investigation even though it has been eight (8) years since the crime.
Additional investigative leads are being followed up on at this time.