DeFuniak Springs Woman Murdered

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - Around 6:00 P.M. Monday night, officers responded to a call requesting a welfare check on DeFuniak Springs resident, Sandra Lea Graves. Authorities say when they got there, they saw signs of forced entry and found the woman's body on the floor. 

"We discovered the female had a knife wound to her throat and she was lying in, on the floor," said  Lt. Richard Black, DeFuniak Springs Police Department. 

The 911 caller told dispatchers, she was concerned after her husband received text messages from the suspect. They say Stephen Anthony Taylor admitted to killing 36-year-old, Sandra Lea Graves, at her North Tenth Street home. Taylor also told them, he still had the murder weapon on him. 

"Because of their relationship, whether what it was or what it wasn't, at some point he had developed a hatred and this was sort of his way of lashing out, when he took her life," said Lt. Black. 

At 7:51 P.M., the Walton County Sheriff's Office received information that the alleged suspect was spotted at a Burger King restaurant. That's where they found Taylor and the victim's stolen vehicle.

 "We have extensively searched the residence. As well as, they are in the process of searching the vehicle. We have recovered a great deal of evidence, including the murder weapon," Lt. Black told us. 

Taylor was later taken to the Walton County Jail, where he will face charges for burglary and first degree murder. The Walton County Sheriff's Office and State Attorney's Office for the First Circuit Court are still investigating.

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