Lee Allen Mayhew, who is charged with the October 2020 shooting death of Bonnie Lanier Rushing in her Stilson-Leefield Road home, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville, Tenn., on an unrelated charge to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a stolen firearm while being a convicted felon.
According to a release from U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee, Mayhew was arrested by officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department in February 2018 when he was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation.
After producing identification for another person, Mayhew was arrested for criminal impersonation, and during a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers found a Sig Sauer rifle and ammunition in the trunk, which previously was stolen in Robertson County, Tenn. Mayhew later admitted he owned the rifle.
Mayhew pleaded guilty to the charge last month and was found at sentencing to be an armed career criminal, based on four prior convictions for residential burglary.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, the 15-year sentence will run concurrently with any sentence received from charges pending in Georgia, where Mayhew is charged with the murder of Rushing, who was 53 at the time.
At the time of that incident, Mayhew was on pre-trial release from the firearms charge in Tennessee and had failed to appear for a hearing the week before.
In Bulloch County, Mayhew faces 13 felony counts in connection with the murder of Rushing and thefts at two homes in rural Bulloch.
Rushing was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on Oct. 23, 2020 on the front porch of her family’s home on Stilson-Leefield Road. Her white, 2013 GMC Acadia was missing.
At the time, a manhunt for Mayhew was already underway since the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a burglary involving theft of guns and a golf cart that had occurred about five miles away at a home on Old River Road South the previous day.
Mayhew was driving Rushing’s GMC Acadia when he was arrested later on Oct. 23, 2020 in Columbia County, Florida, just across the state line.
Mayhew will be transferred to the State of Georgia at a later date for further proceedings involving Rushing’s murder.