Girlfriend of Chattanooga murder suspect on the run says 'He's innocent'
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. —
A woman who says she's the girlfriend of murder suspect Mallory Vaughn says he is innocent and being framed.
Vaughn is wanted for murder and robbery charges in connection with the death of Franklin Bonner.
Bonner was found bound and suffocated in his home back in 2009.
The Hamilton County DA's Cold Case Unit re-opened the case after a request from Bonner's family this year.
The office says they submitted unidentified latent fingerprints to the TBI, which resulted in a match with Vaughn.
Vaughn's girlfriend reached out to us after the announcement to say he is innocent.
She did not want to talk on camera, but in a text, Vaughn's alleged girlfriend said, "He was questioned back in 2009, they took his fingerprints and was told that his didn't match."
We asked investigators about this. We were told it's an open case and can't comment.
She went on to say "They just need someone to blame. These charges are bogus."
She also says investigators have harassed her family over the last two weeks, and that they only found out about the murder charges 10 minutes before Tuesday's press conference.
We spoke with Bonner's widow Linda about the charges. She is relieved to hear a suspect has been named.
"Pray until something happens and look what has happened, they got him," Linda Bonner said.
The DA's office said the victim was a "known numbers runner in the neighborhood. He also sold marijuana and was known to have large amounts of cash."
A woman is also facing charges in connection with this cold case.
She was arrested, but her name has not been released because she was 13 years old at the time.
We asked Vaughn's family if he plans to turn himself in. They have not answered us.