Man convicted of murder after wife’s body found in trunk of repossessed car on Mississippi lot

Published 2:14 pm Saturday, August 28, 2021

A Tennessee man was convicted Friday in the 2017 murder of his wife whose body was discovered in the trunk of her repossessed car on a Mississippi towing company’s lot.

A criminal court jury deliberated less than an hour before finding Melvin Summerville, 43, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his 42-year-old wife, Anitra Jones-Summerville, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison.

According to testimony, the defendant had a history of assaulting his wife and in April of 2017 her family reported her missing. During an investigation, detectives received a call on April 10, 2017, from a Horn Lake, Mississippi, towing company where employees had discovered a body in the trunk of a car registered to the victim.

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The company had towed the car from Memphis earlier that morning on behalf of a credit agency. The decomposing body was that of Anitra Jones-Summerville. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

Detectives determined that her husband was the last person to see her alive, and that he had told a friend he killed her and how he killed her. Also, phone records showed Summerville returned to the crime scene within 24 hours.

The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Jamie Kidd and Asst. Dist. Atty. Justin Prescott. ADA Kidd is with the District Attorney’s Special Prosecution Unit 8 which seeks maximum sentencing for repeat felony offenders. ADA Prescott is with the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Unit which handles case of domestic assault and homicide committed by intimate partners.