MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Florida man who was arrested after a high-speed chase in Marshall County last week is now awaiting extradition to Florida in connection to a murder, according to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
MCSO said Robert Lanning 28, of Melbourne, Florida was arrested on September 4 after a high-speed car chase which began on Highway 431 near the Madison County line and ended in downtown Guntersville when Lanning struck another vehicle at the intersection of Gunter Avenue and AL-69.
The driver of the second vehicle was transported from the scene by ambulance, and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Lanning was transported to Huntsville Hospital where he remained in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office until he was released on September 7. He was then taken to the Marshall County jail and charged with attempting to elude and fugitive from justice.
Initially, Lanning was found to have a felony probation warrant from Jackson County, Georgia. Later, Georgia declined to extradite Lanning.
The same day, MSCO was contacted by the Palm Bay Police Department (PBPD) in Florida and told MCSO that he was a person of interest in a missing persons case. MSCO said that it was discovered that the vehicle Lanning was driving was registered in the name of the missing person, Nicholas Mitchell.
On September 8, PBPD again contacted MCSO informing them that they found Mitchell’s body and he had been shot several times, according to MCSO. Lanning was subsequently charged with first-degree felony murder and grand theft motor vehicle, according to PBPD.
Investigators from Florida also began searching for Lanning’s girlfriend, Rene Lemos, who was believed to be with Lanning during the time frame Mitchell went missing, according to PBPD. Lemos was taken into custody in Kennesaw, Georgia, and is being held there until she is extradited to Florida on accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and grand theft auto charges.
MSCO said Lanning is still being held in the Marshall County Jail on the original charge for attempting to elude and will be turned over to Florida officials once the case is settled.
Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims released the following statement regarding the situation:
“With regard to this case, I am glad no one was seriously injured. Our jobs in general are inherently dangerous, especially during pursuits. Deputies and all officers involved did an outstanding job and followed policy to make sure a man, who unknowingly to us at the time had been involved in a murder from Florida, did not keep roaming the streets of Marshall County”.
Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims