Slain soldier lured out of house to help suspect - WRBL

Slain soldier lured out of house by suspect

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SFC Donald Lashon Wilson SFC Donald Lashon Wilson

Three people accused of murdering a Fort Benning solider earlier this week are now all behind bars. Forty-two-year-old Michael Tucker turned himself in Friday afternoon and is charged with killing Sergeant First Class Donald Wilson early Sunday.  Also facing the same charge is Wilson's widow, Gloria Wilson, and her boyfriend, Travis Leonard. They were both arrested this week.

Tucker told police he was involved in the plot to kill the 34-year-old soldier, but claims he did not pull the trigger.

Police believe Mrs. Wilson wanted to slay her husband to collect his $450,000 life insurance and she used her current and former lovers to shoot him. They said she has been plotting it for awhile and believe a gun she owns is the murder weapon. Police have not yet recovered the murder weapon.

It was around midnight on Sunday, when police said Wilson was lured from his home in Lee County to a nearby motel. Murder suspect and acquaintance Tucker sent him a text message saying his car ran out of gas and he needed help.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said the events all occurred in a three hour period once Wilson met up with Tucker. "I personally believe that they abducted him and then transported him out into the county." Taylor said he doesn't know whether it was Tucker or Leonard who fired the three fatal shots that took Wilson's life, but said investigators can place both of them at the murder scene.

Wilson's body was discovered about 20 minutes from where his car was found burned out the same night of his murder. Police believe the suspects used Wilson's car to drop his body in a ditch on the side of the road, returned to an apartment complex, set the vehicle on fire and then walked back to the motel where it started.

Taylor said originally, Wilson's widow was treated as a victim, but her stories didn't add up. Investigators said they began receiving calls from people who claimed Mrs. Wilson talked about killing her husband.

The victim's sister, Sukenna Stokes said she knew her sister-in-law was involved from the beginning. "From past experiences with her. From things I have heard her say before it just made me... I knew it."

The victim's mother, Betty Wilson, said she always got bad vibes from her daughter-in law and said it was odd when she found out from officials that her youngest child was dead. "She his wife and she hadn't called to let us know anything that had happened or he was missing or whatever. She didn't call."

Authorities believe Mrs. Wilson was intimate with Tucker and is still lovers with Leonard.

Leonard moved into the couple's house in 2012 under the pretense that he was her brother. When Wilson returned home from an overseas tour and discovered the affair he told Leonard to move out.

A few weeks ago, Mrs. Wilson asked her husband for a divorce and on Saturday, he finally agreed to it. Officials believe that is what triggered the murder.

"We have text messages between all of these three players that will help the prosecution in this case," said Sheriff Taylor.

When Tucker was arrested Friday, instead of going straight to jail he was taken to the hospital after he told officers he swallowed 30 sleeping pills and got sick. Police believe it may have been a suicide attempt.


Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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