Tava Woodard shot dead while working at Tennessee gas station

A 23-year-old Tennessee woman was shot dead at a convenience store where she worked the midnight shift only hours after she expressed safety concerns — and a father and son have been charged in her murder.

Tava Woodard, a clerk at the Roadrunner Market on North Broadway in Johnson City, texted friends and co-workers on June 2 about a shoplifting incident and said she wanted to find a new job, People reported.

A short time later, two masked men identified as Mark Sexton Jr., 41, and his son Mark Sexton III, 18, entered the store and stole money from her at gunpoint, WJHL reported.

“The two men then walked towards the door but as they were leaving, one of the men turned around and fired a shot from the pistol, striking Ms. Woodard,” according to an affidavit cited by the outlet.

When police arrived eight minutes later, they found her body lying on the ground.

The officers found a 9mm shell casing and two blue nitrile gloves in a nearby alley, WJHL reported. The gloves matched the ones the suspects were seen wearing in the surveillance video.

Another glove was found near the Sextons’ home about nine blocks away, according to the station.

After releasing screen grabs of the duo, police received tips that “one of the subjects appeared to be Mark Sexton Jr.,” according to an affidavit.

Workers at a nearby laundry business told investigators that Sexton Jr. and his wife had both worked there, and described garments and gloves from the store as matching those being worn by the suspects.

Police obtained a warrant and stopped a vehicle with an expired registration that the father drove off in with his wife and another person.

They later discovered scrubs and other clothing at the home that matched items seen in the convenience store video, as well as blue gloves and a 9mm round bearing the same stamp as the casing located at the scene.

Sexton Jr. was charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery and driving an unregistered vehicle.

His son was charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony and tampering with evidence.

Woodard’s mother, Melissa Jones, told People about how her daughter felt about working at the Roadrunner Market.


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