Arrest Made in Autauga Co. Cold Case


By Heather VacLav


An unsolved 6-year murder investigation in Autauga County finally leads to a suspect in custody. The Autauga County Sheriff's office says this has been a long time coming. It has been working with Alabama’s Bureau of Investigation to connect the dots.

48-year old Clifford Wynn of Selma has been arrested multiple times on charges of raping and murdering 53-year old Patricia Lasserre in 2005, and each time police had to let him go.

But Thursday that all changed, when Wynn was indicted by the Autauga County Grand Jury.

“I just felt like we would break it one day, I really did,” said Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson, “and I didn't want to give up on it.”

Sheriff Johnson says Wynn had been a suspect all along, but the District Attorney’s office said until now there was never enough evidence to indict him.

“We don't like cold cases because the longer it takes to solve it, the less likely it is we're going to get anybody convicted or even arrested,” Randall Houston, Autauga County District Attorney said. “This one was getting to that cusp of that point where we weren't going to have any results, so we're glad that we've got this one.”

Patricia Lassarre went missing December 18, 2005 after leaving her job at the Clanton Walmart. The Sheriff's office says her body was found strangled two days later near Autauga County Road One, about seven miles from her home in Selma.

As for Clifford Wynn’s motive, it remains unknown. The Sheriff’s office will not explain why Wynn allegedly killed Lassarre more than six years ago.

“At this time we're not discussing anything like that at this point of the investigation,” Johnson said.

District Attorney Randall Houston told CBS-8 News Clifford Wynn did not personally know Lassarre, but he did say Wynn lived in the outdoors near her home.

As for Wynn’s response to the charges, Sheriff Johnson said based upon his reaction Thursday morning, he felt like Wynn expected the murder charge.

“Just unconcerned, no remorse,” Johnson said, “no remorse at all, no concern or anything.”

“ [Wynn] He knows, he knows what he's facing, I really believe that,” Johnson said.

According to the Autauga County Sheriff’s office, Wynn has been in the Autauga Metro Jail for about a year on other charges of burglary, theft and sodomy.

Wynn's arraignment will be on March 9th at the Autauga County Courthouse. He is currently being held for the murder charge on a $350,000 bond. 



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