Two charged with murder in death of woman first ruled suicide

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Two people have been charged with murder in the killing of an Alabama woman whose death earlier this month was initially believed to be a suicide, police said.

John Wayne Sutton, 48, and Laura Lynn Lovequist, 29, both of Jack, were arrested in the death of Jenita Rose Maldonado, 29, of Montgomery, sheriff’s officials said. Both have admitted their involvement in the death, Dale County Chief Deputy Mason Bynum told the Dothan Eagle.

Court records weren’t available Wednesday to show whether either person had a lawyer who could speak on their behalf.

Maldonado was found dead in woods off a county road on June 3, and authorities at first said it appeared she had taken her own life.

“A short time later, we noticed some inconsistencies in some of the developing information and continued to work it as a death investigation. Over the last 24 hours, two suspects were developed and have since been charged with murder,” he said.

Investigators have not said how Maldonado died. The three knew each other, Bynum said, and investigators believe Maldonado went with the two on her own.