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Accused serial killer’s court date set for Feb. 27

Jacob Smith • Feb 8, 2018 at 4:13 PM

Accused serial killer Bruce Mendenhall had his court date set for Feb. 27 after previous court dates were postponed several times in the past.

Mendenhall, 66, of Albion, Illinois, was charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the 2007 death of Samantha D. Winter, 48, of Lebanon.

Winters’ naked body was found June 6, 2007, in a trashcan at the Pilot Travel Center on Highway 231 in Lebanon.

Mendenhall is already serving a life sentence at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville for the June 26, 2007, killing of Sarah Nicole Hulbert, 25, of Nashville, who was found dead of gunshot wounds at a truck stop north of Nashville.

During questioning in that case, Mendenhall gave a statement implicating himself in that killing and in Winters’ death. As the investigation unfolded, he then implicated himself in one death in Alabama, one in Georgia and two in Indiana.

A Wilson County grand jury indicted Mendenhall for Winters’ death Aug. 17, 2007.

While in jail, Mendenhall received an additional 30-year sentence for trying to hire someone to kill the three associates he had implicated for the killings in his original statement to police.

According to authorities, Mendenhall separately approached two inmates with offers to pay them $15,000 for the killings. One of the killings was a “copycat” crime, designed to lead police to believe the killer was still as large.

In that incident, Mendenhall was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

Mendenhal’s trial will begin Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. in Wilson County criminal court Judge John Wootten’s courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center. 

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