Ankle monitoring company, owner & employee indicted after West Feliciana murder-suicide


West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said a grand jury returned true bills for negligent homicide for American Electronic Monitoring, its owner Van Hopkins & employee Deborah Shirley. That means a West Feliciana Parish Grand Jury found that there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

The case goes back to Sept. 20, 2021 on Ruth St. in West Feliciana Parish when Marshall Rayburn, 63, shot & killed his estranged wife Peggy Rayburn, 70, before turning the gun on himself.

However, D’Aquilla said Rayburn should never have been within 100 yards of his estranged wife and if he was, the ankle monitoring company should have been notified, who should have notified law enforcement.

“The company, owner and this employee have blood on their hands. As a company, they were responsible. He was not supposed to go anywhere near her. Had law enforcement been notified like they should have been, maybe they could have made it to the home and avoided her death,” said D’Aquilla.

D’Aquilla said Peggy Rayburn would wake up sore but could not figure out what was going on. D’Aquilla said Marshall Rayburn had been drugging Peggy & then raping her. Peggy found photographs of herself on her then husband’s computer. She reported it and Marshall was arrested for second-degree rape.

“She filed for divorce & got a protective order because she was scared of him,” said D’Aquilla.

Marshall Rayburn was released on bail on Aug. 30, 2021. A condition of his bail was that he had to wear an ankle monitor. American Electronic Monitoring was given Marshall Rayburn’s case. Specifically, his case was assigned to Deborah Shirley, 62, of St. Francisville, at the company.

“I think they were negligent in their duties. Their duties were to supervise people in monitors and in this case, that didn’t happen,” said D’Aquilla.

Plus, D’Aquilla said Marshall Rayburn tested his ankle monitor at least three times within a two-week timeframe by covering it with foil.

“There was a communication loss. A communication loss is just as bad because then the company doesn’t know the whereabouts about the person the entire time during the communication loss. It’s a false sense of security thinking someone on an ankle monitor is being monitored when really, they’re not,” said D’Aquilla. “Losing communication isn’t uncommon but then you get on the phone or contact the person immediately. That did not happen even once with this company with all the communication losses.”

D’Aquilla said Marshall Rayburn drove by his estranged wife’s home twice before he shot & killed her.

“That was within 100 yards and the company never notified the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office or St. Francisville Police Dept.,” said D’Aquilla. “Plus, that night at 9:30pm, there was a zone violation followed by a communication loss when he was sitting in a parking lot across the street from her home.”

That night is when officials said Marshall Rayburn stalked his estranged wife for about two hours. When she let the dog out, he followed her back inside the home. The two of them got into an argument and a 37-yr-old neighbor heard them arguing so she went to intervene.

D’Aquilla said the neighbor stood between the two and refused to move. That’s when Marshall Rayburn shot the neighbor in the leg hoping she would move. Instead, she stayed between the two. D’Aquilla said Marshall Rayburn shot one more time and the bullet went through the neighbor hitting Peggy in the head and killing her.

Marshall Rayburn then turned the gun on himself and shot once.

Law enforcement responded to the home within five minutes.

D’Aquilla took the case before the grand jury on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

Shirley was arrested for negligent homicide and bonded out on Sunday, May 8, 2022 for $30,000. Van Hopkins is expected to turn himself in, also for the charge of negligent homicide.


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