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Man charged with stealing and selling car of elderly couple who were fatally shot in South Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged with stealing and later selling the car of an elderly South Florida couple who were fatally shot in March, authorities said.

Maurice Newson, 30, of Davie, was arrested in May on a warrant for charges of grand theft auto and dealing in stolen property, according to court records. Newson, who had been in a relationship with one of the victims’ granddaughters, pleaded not guilty to the charges last month and was released on bond.

Major and Claudette Melvin, ages 89 and 85 respectively, had owned a 2014 Ford Fusion, which was missing when Fort Lauderdale police responded to the deceased couple’s home on March 22. Investigators asked for the public’s help in locating the vehicle, and it was eventually found about two weeks after the double homicide.

Newson’s attorney, Jeremy McLymont, said Fort Lauderdale police have been investigating the case for over three months and have not uncovered any evidence to charge Newson with murder. McLymont also said he and his client haven’t received any evidence from prosecutors related to the vehicle theft.

Surveillance video at the Melvin home shows someone arrive in the early morning hours of March 22 and leave a few minutes later. Several hours later, video shows the Melvins’ car being driven away from the house. The vehicle was taken north and left in a commuter train parking lot, where a tow truck picked it up later that day.

A witness told police they spotted the car in a tow company parking lot on April 4, according to court records. A tow truck driver told police he had bought the car for $200 from a man later identified in a photo lineup as Newson.

The detective who wrote the warrant for Newson’s vehicle theft charges said there was probable cause to believe that the suspects in the vehicle theft were also involved in the homicides.

The Melvins had been married for 60 years. He was a retired backhoe operator, while she had worked in housekeeping at a hospital. They had 28 grandchildren.