Highland Park detective found killer after years on the run - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Highland Park detective found killer after years on the run

Posted: Updated:
Highland Park Detective Paul Thomas found William Lyles, Junior at his parents' house in Oak Park.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Highland Park Detective Paul Thomas found William Lyles, Junior at his parents' house in Oak Park. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WJBK) -

A killer roamed the streets for almost three decades, but thanks to a homicide detective in Highland Park, that wanted man was captured and will never be back on the streets again.

William Lyles, Junior was recently sentenced to life in prison without parole, and a family finally got justice after their loved one was murdered.

"He called on the phone, and he said that if it was the last thing he was going to do, he was going to get Melvin," said witness Melissa Kountz.

She was 13 years old and will never forget the threat or what happened next.  Her 28-year-old cousin was brutally murdered by Lyles, her mother's abusive boyfriend, while he slept at their home in Highland Park.

Police said the planning that went into the murder was methodical.  The killer slipped in through a basement window.  He wore sponges on his shoes so he wouldn't be heard.  He even stuck the dog in the freezer.

That little puppy would die in the deep freezer, and Melvin Weathers would die that night, too.  The killer removed a fuse from the fuse box killing the electricity, took the phone off the hook and silently crept upstairs in the pitch black.

"We had a Fingerhut butcher block set that was in the kitchen where he took a knife out for everyone in the house," Kountz explained.

While she and her sister, Kimberly, and their mother slept, Lyles made good on his threat.

"He put a pillow over his face and stabbed him in the chest lung.  Melvin got up and struggled," Kountz said.  "When he was taking his last breath, that was something that I will never forget."

Kountz, her sister and mother ran to a neighbor's house, returning with police and flashlights.

"I could see Melvin [lying] in the threshold of the bedroom where he was killed," she said.  "The look that I saw in his eyes haunted me forever."

Lyles hid out, left the state and was on the run for decades, then last year Kountz called Highland Park Detective Paul Thomas, a former homicide detective with Detroit Police.  She had a list of relatives and possible addresses for Lyles.  Thomas started investigating, and last summer found him sitting on his parents' porch in Oak Park.

"I remember Melissa calling back saying that she got a chill up her spine because that was him, even though a significant amount of years had gone by," said Thomas.

It was 29 years since Weathers was murdered.  Lyles was 61 years old and finally under arrest, prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison thanks to the persistence of child well into adulthood and a detective that wouldn't give up.

"He could've very easily said this didn't happen on my watch, it's not my problem, but he got out there and fought for justice just as Melissa did for all these years," said Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Molly Kettler.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Small community asks for justice as investigation of Armada teens murder continues

    Small community asks for justice as investigation of Armada teens murder continues

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:37:02 GMT
    Wearing pink, the mother of 14-year-old April Millsap's boyfriend -- remembered the teen Thursday as the small village of Armada tries to cope."It's very hard, it's in such a spotlight, as a mom you don't think it's going to be like this," said Monique Albertson, mother of April Millsap's boyfriend. "Everyone is just hanging in there the best we can. It's overwhelming."Albertson, joining hundreds of people, police, classmates - most wearing pink which was April Millsap's favorite color."We're...
    Wearing pink, the mother of 14-year-old April Millsap's boyfriend -- remembered the teen Thursday as the small village of Armada tries to cope."It's very hard, it's in such a spotlight, as a mom you don't think it's going to be like this," said Monique Albertson, mother of April Millsap's boyfriend. "Everyone is just hanging in there the best we can. It's overwhelming."Albertson, joining hundreds of people, police, classmates - most wearing pink which was April Millsap's favorite color."We're...
  • Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:47:41 GMT
    An off duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident.Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.According to the report, police responded to a road rage incident between two trucks on I-94 in Belleville on May 29th.Van buren police pulled one of the trucks over which was driven by Brooks, and found a loaded handgun in the car.Brooks was released on personal ...
    An off duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident.Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.According to the report, police responded to a road rage incident between two trucks on I-94 in Belleville on May 29th.Van buren police pulled one of the trucks over which was driven by Brooks, and found a loaded handgun in the car.Brooks was released on personal ...
  • SOURCES: Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    SOURCES: Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:46:10 GMT
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices