Murder suspect at large
A long-time Benton County resident died Sunday morning following a brutal attack, according to Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson, and authorities are searching for a suspect.
Dickerson said deputy Mike Owens responded to a call to 35 Pickins Drive, off Highway 72 in Marshall County near the state line.
Upon his arrival shortly before 4 a.m., Owens spoke with a subject on the scene who said the victim had been moved from the front yard onto the couch inside the residence.
Owens entered the residence and observed the victim lying on the couch with what appeared to be a large laceration to the top left side of his forehead area, the sheriff said.
The victim did not appear to be breathing, acccording to Owens.
Deputy Willis McNeil checked the victim for a pulse and found none.
Owens asked dispatch to advise the ambulance service the victim was not breathing.
A witness at the scene identified the victim as Frank Bolden Jr., 56. He was later pronounced dead by Coroner James Richard Anderson, Dickerson said.
A continuing investigation by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department revealed that Bolden had been struck numerous times on the head with a 2-by-4, which had been removed from the trunk of the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect was later identified as Michael Buffington, a.k.a. “Little Mike” Michael Wells, 44, who had no permanent address, Dickerson said.
A short while following the identification of the suspect, an arrest warrant was issued by Marshall County Justice Court Judge Mae Garrison, charging Buffington with murder.
Additional information revealed that Buffington, accompanied by a female subject, hurriedly fled the scene in a car to an unknown area, Dickerson said.
No description of the vehicle could be gathered from sources at the scene.
Following the issuance of the arrest warrant for Buffington, local law enforcement officers and departments were notified and a BOLO was issued in Benton and Marshall counties, Collierville, Tenn., and Memphis, Tenn., in an effort to locate the suspect who is no stranger to law enforcement, Dickerson said.
Buffington has a criminal history, Dickerson said, including past convictions for aggravated assault and manslaughter.
Dickerson also learned from Tate County officials that Buffington is currently out on bond on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Law enforcement authorities in Tate county are in the process of filing motions in circuit court to get his bond revoked in Tate County, the sheriff said.
“Buffington is considered armed and extremely dangerous,” Dickerson said.