Court Denies Appeal

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The Mississippi Court of Appeals has upheld the two murder convictions and life sentences given to Paul Evans for the shooting deaths of two teenage girls in rural Jones County.

The bodies of 19-year-old Amanda Welborn, of Laurel, and Kelsey Bullock, 18, of Stringer, were left by the side of a rural road on Feb. 26, 2000. Authorities say the young women were shot in the back of the head.

Evans and Nathan Townsend, both of Laurel, were charged in the slayings. The court record did not say what happened in the case against Townsend.

Townsend testified against Evans in the latter's trial and said Evans shot the two girls, with whom he and Townsend had been riding in a car.

On appeal, Evans claimed that his statements should not have been used at his trial because he was taken into custody, handcuffed, and interrogated at a time when the probable cause did not exist for his arrest.

Appeals Judge T. Kenneth Griffis, writing for the court, said Evans' arrest was legal because the law officer had probable cause to believe that a felony had been committed and probable cause to believe the suspect to be arrested committed the crime.