Two ex-wives testified Friday their husband admitted killing a co-worker in 1982 and threatened to kill them and their children if they told anyone.
Two scared former wives testified Friday their husband admitted killing a co-worker in 1982 and threatened to kill them and their children if they told anyone. Former wife Joyce Mallard, who was married to Randy McFarlin from 1992-93, and former wife Ellen Buckman, married to him from 1995 to 2006, didnt tell anyone about their husbands admissions until they left him because they were scared. McFarlin, who has since changed his name to Mac Ray McFarlane, is being tried for the 1982 fatal shooting of co-worker Gene Stump, 28, of Smyrna. Stumps headless, armless, decomposed body was found in April 1982, one month after he disappeared, on Lamar Road in north Rutherford County. He pleaded not guilty to the murder before Circuit Court Judge Don Ash and a Circuit Court jury. Third wife Buckman testified McFarlane was sober when he told her he murdered a man in 1982 in Rutherford County. He mentioned the murder about every two weeks. I killed that man, Buckman said, quoting her former husband, who was very emotional, weepy, remorseful and afraid. He thought he was going to hell for it. McFarlane told her he shot Stump because they robbed a store and he feared Stump would confess their crime to police. Mac said he couldnt allow that to happen, Buckman said. Her husband described accompanying Stump to a wooded area near Percy Priest Lake where he shot and killed him. The couple later watched the movie, Millers Crossing with a similar scene that reminded her husband about Stumps murder. Jurors watched a portion of the movie. It affected Randy every time he watched the movie, she said, adding he said, Thats what it felt like when I took Gene to the woods to kill him. McFarlane told her he shot Stump with a shotgun in the upper back. He mentioned returning to the scene, finding his decomposing body and slipping off his boots so he couldnt be easily identified. Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman asked Buckman why she didnt tell anyone. She replied she called the Rutherford County Sheriffs Office three days after she left her husband and felt safe. Under cross-examination, defense attorney Luke Evans asked why she didnt mention the boots in her first interview with Detectives Todd Sparks and Chuck Barnes. Buckman said as she remembered more details, she would contact Cold Case Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin. Second wife Joyce Mallard testified her husband told her about Stumps murder. He told me he had murdered somebody and got away with it, Mallard said, adding, he told her if she told anyone, he would kill her and her two sons. I know he would. Eventually, she couldnt take it anymore so she made sure her sons were safe and left him. Evans asked about his clients comments and why she didnt tell anyone years ago. If I had come forward years ago, he would have killed me and my children, Mallard said. Newman asked why she remembered details so vividly. Because he told me so often, Mallard replied. Newman said jurors were expected to hear testimony from McFarlins wife at the time of the murder when the trial resumes Tuesday. Goodwin took the witness stand to describe the investigation he and Detective Lt. Bill Sharp initiated in 2006. They obtained an order to have Stumps remains exhumed, using DNA from his leg compared to DNA from his son. The detectives interviewed McFarlane April 30, 2008 in Bristol, Tenn., where McFarlane worked. McFarlane stated he and Stump robbed a convenience store in La Vergne. After his death, McFarlane cashed Stumps income tax check. Goodwin pointed out discrepancies between the statements McFarlin gave former Detectives Bob Asbury and Steve Pickel in 1982 with the statement to him and Sharp. Evans asked Goodwin if any witness saw McFarlane shoot Stump. No ones going to say he did it, Goodwin said. No one saw except the killer and person whos dead. Evans asked Goodwin if he compared the discrepancies between McFarlanes first wifes statements at the time and later. Goodwin said he elicited more information from her over time. I believe Randy McFarlin killed Gene Stump, Goodwin said. I dont think he told the truth a single time.