- Cullman, Alabama

October 16, 2013

Arrest made in Winston Co. double murder

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

WINSTON COUNTY — A Winston County man has been arrested for the murder of an 80-year-old woman and her adult nephew who were found dead last week at a home near Addison.

Shannon Edward Payne, 37, of Double Springs has been charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Maxine Carroll, 80, and nephew Bryan Stephens, 50, who were found dead in Carroll's home on County Road 41 in the Upshaw community near Addison on October 8.

The shootings apparently followed an altercation between Stephens and Payne, as Payne was reportedly dating Stephens’ daughter. No charges have been filed against the daughter at this time.

Payne reportedly struck Stephens in the head with a metal flashlight before shooting him twice in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. Carroll, who was reportedly present for the fight, was shot once in the head.

Carroll had worked as a school teacher in and around the Winston County community for several years before retiring.

This case marks the second murder investigation within a month for Winston County, following a suspected murder-suicide where four bodies were found in a car off a rural stretch of highway earlier this month. Authorities believe that case was some type of suicide pact, as the victims were reportedly under investigation for child pornography charges.

‰ Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.