Teen child of prominent Ala. doctor charged with murdering father’s fiancé


AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The teen child of a prominent east Alabama physician has been charged with murdering the father’s fiancé at the family’s home in Auburn on Thursday night.

Many in the Auburn community are devastated and shocked by the murder and subsequent arrest.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris identified the victim as 66-year-old Martha (Marti) Jones White. Harris pronounced her dead at the scene. Preliminary reports indicate she died from a single gunshot wound.

Law enforcement sources tell News 3 the suspect in this case, 16-year-old Ross McFarland, and White knew one another because White was engaged to McFarland’s father, a beloved East Alabama physician who is well known and respected in the community.

Auburn police arrested the 16-year-old early Friday morning on Murder charges after the Thursday night homicide along Burke Place.

“On Oct. 18, 2019, at approximately 6:30 a.m., Auburn Police along with the assistance of members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Tallapoosa County Drug Task Force arrested Ross Jonathan McFarland, 16, of Auburn, on a warrant for Murder,” said Captain Lorenzo Dorsey.

Ross Jonathan McFarland
Source: Auburn Police

The arrest stems from an investigation into a homicide at the 700 block of Burke Place in Auburn where a female was found dead inside a home where the teen lives.

“At approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2019, the Auburn Police Division responded to a residence on Burke Place after receiving a call reporting an unresponsive female. Officers discovered a 66-year-old female, affiliated with the residence, deceased from an apparent gunshot wound,” said Dorsey.

Investigators say analysis of the scene resulted in McFarland, who resides at the residence on Burke Place, being developed as a suspect in the death.

“The Police Division obtained an arrest warrant and enlisted the aid of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force; McFarland, a truck missing from the residence and what is believed to be the weapon used in the homicide, was located in the 10,000 block of Highway 50 near Dadeville and taken into custody,” said Dorsey.

Ross Jonathan McFarland has been charged with Murder, transported to the Lee County jail and is held under a $150,000 bond.

This case remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division and Lee County Coroner’s Office. Anyone with additional information regarding this crime is urged to contact the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.

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