Victim’s son in Sallee murder trial testifies

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – Monday was the first day of Samuel E. Sallee’s murder trial, the suspect of a quadruple homicide is being tried on four counts of murder that happened almost two years ago.

The prosecution and a witness said drugs were regularly bought and sold in the Waynesville home where the murder happened.

According to 24-Hour News 8’s partners at The Republic, in the second day of the murder trial Daniel Burton took the stand. He is the son of Katheryn M. Burton, 53, who is one of the three victims.

He said once a day at least five people were in and out of the home at 2634 E. Main Cross Street on drug-related business. Sallee was one of the visitors.

Burton lived with his mother and her friend Thomas W. Smith, 39 at the home.

He testified that his mother and Smith’s income combined was about $1,100 a month with disability and drug money.

Burton said before he left for work at 3:45 p.m. on the day of the killings and he had seen Sallee with a gun in his home.

He arrived home from work at 10:30 p.m. where the four bodies of Katheryn Burton, Smith, Aaron T. Cross, 41, and Shawn L. Burton, 40 were eventually discovered.

All four victims were shot in the head. Katheryn Burton was also stabbed.

Defense attorney David Nowak said Sallee was on drugs at the time of the killings and incapable of killing three men alone.

Nowak told the jury investigators have not found evidence or a murder weapon that links Sallee to the homicide.

The Republic said investigators learned many items in the home were either missing or found empty. There were items later discovered at the home of Malcolm England on Parkway Drive in Columbus, where Sallee and his girlfriend Sharon McElroy were staying.

Other items that were discovered include a garbage toter which held the wallets of all three male victims with foam insulation within a box. These items were found next to the Columbus home where Sallee was living.

England is expected to testify how Sallee paid him $50 he owed him. When England asked him where he got the money, Sallee said he received it from a guy he worked for.

England and McElroy are both expected to testify that Sallee washed his gloves and shoes in a washing machine the day after the killings.

A gun expert is expected to testify that the home where Sallee had been living in 2012 contained identical .22 caliber casings, which were found at the crime scene.

Another person expected to testify is Sallee’s former cellmate who claims the defendant told him he destroyed the barrel of the rifle used for all four murders.

Defense attorney Nowak is expected to argue the victims were killed between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

The murder trial began Monday and went through to Tuesday and Wednesday.