Murder suspect Lee Allen Mayhew faced a judge Thursday morning for a first appearance hearing after a one-day delay due to “self-inflicted injury.”
The 44-year-old Nashville resident was arrested in Columbia County, Fla., late Friday afternoon, hours after he allegedly killed Bonnie Rushing, 53, in her Stilson-Leefield Road home, then stole her car.
Mayhew also faces charges for a burglary on Old River Road South the night before he reportedly killed Rushing. He was slated for a first appearance hearing Wednesday morning, but because of self-inflicted injuries, the hearing was delayed until Thursday morning, said Bulloch County Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hutchens.
Mayhew was taken to the hospital for treatment Tuesday night after causing harm to himself, he said. Hutchens said Mayhew’s actions were not a suicide attempt, but due to privacy laws, he did not disclose details of the injuries.
Mayhew, who was extradited from Florida Monday night, was returned to the Bulloch County Jail after treatment of his injuries, Hutchens said.
During the first appearance hearing Thursday, Mayhew requested a public defender for the burglary and murder cases, he said.
Bulloch County sheriff’s deputies, United States Marshal Service agents, the Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit and others launched a manhunt Thursday evening after an Old River Road South homeowner came home to find a strange car in his carport and several items including guns, missing from his home. Mayhew, who was on the run from US Marshals in Tennessee on firearms charges, was believed to have stolen a golf cart from the Old River Road home on which he left the scene. He was not found Thursday night, but was identified through evidence in the car he left behind, Hutchens said.
Friday, family members called law enforcement when they could not reach Rushing. Deputies and family members found her body inside the home. Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said autopsy results show Rushing died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Mayhew fled the scene in Rushing’s car and was apprehended in Florida just south of Valdosta. He is being held in the Bulloch County Jail without bond.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.