Four-year-old witnesses mother's murder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Four-year-old witnesses mother's murder

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November 1, 2005

Lowndes County - Friends and neighbors gather outside Deidra Miller's home on Mt. Zion Church Road, in shock over her murder.

"As far as I was concerned, it didn't seem like there was a problem or anything, she was in a good mood, she always had a good attitude," said Oliver Finley, Miller's co-worker.

But apparently there were problems between Miller and her ex-boyfriend, Julonda Clayton. Investigators found her shot to death inside her car this morning. They think Clayton pulled the trigger. "They had a nine year history," said Lt. Wanda Edwards.

Investigators think Miller encountered Clayton in her driveway when she was getting ready to take her son to daycare. She then tore through the neighbor's yard trying to get away from him. "It looks like they got into a chase and he chased her," said Edwards.

Miller's car crashed into a tree in her neighbor's back yard, and investigators are trying to figure out if she was shot before or after the wreck. Clayton then took the child from the car and dropped him off at day care. When workers there saw blood on his clothes, they called 9-1-1. "The child was able to tell us that it was him, he called him by his nickname and said he had shot his mom," said Edwards.

Now police are conducting a massive manhunt to find Clayton, whose considered armed and extremely dangerous. "He has family in Jacksonville and Atlanta, so we're notifying everybody and putting out a lookout, we don't want anybody else to get hurt," said Edwards.

Miller's co-workers say she never spoke of her relationship with Clayton, and they don't know why someone would hurt such a wonderful person. "She was real humble, educated, just a real sweet lady, befriended everyone she met," said Edward Denson.

Miller's son was counseled by representatives from the Children's Advocacy Center. He's now safe with his father and grandparents. Investigators think Julonda Clayton is driving a dark blue Chevrolet Avalanche with a Florida license plate number X25BTA. The victim is the sister of N.F.L. star and Valdosta native Randall Godfrey.

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