Lawyer Popped for Harboring Son After Murder


A Shelby County attorney was censured by state officials Tuesday for harboring her son after he murdered a man during a drug deal in 2016.

According to WMC, 17-year-old Sebastian Vaughn was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in 2017 for killing Marlo Williams at a Memphis IHOP in June 2016. Vaughn, who attended Bartlett High School, told investigators he shot Williams, 35, with a sawed-off shotgun in the front seat of the victim's car during a dispute during a drug deal at the Sycamore View Road IHOP.

WMC reported also that Vaughn took a photo of the victim at the time and sent it in a message friends with the caption, "I just killed a Mfer 10 minutes ago."

Vaughn to pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in February and will be required to serve at least 45 percent of a 15-year prison sentence, according to WMC.
Vaughn's mother and Memphis attorney, Summer Rhoden, did not contact law enforcement officials when her son came to her home the afternoon of the murder. She didn't facilitate his surrender until the next morning. For this, she was charged as an accessory after the fact. In March, she pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of criminal attempt. 

On Tuesday, Rhoden was given a public censure by the Tennessee Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility, the board that oversees attorneys in the state. Her actions after the murder violated state conduct laws for attorneys, according to the board.

A censure is a public rebuke and warning to an attorney here but does not affect the attorney's ability to practice law.

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