Ross McFarland was a sixteen year old from Alabama when he shot and killed his father’s fiance Martha Jones ‘Marti’ White, 66, in Auburn. According to court documents the teen killer was upset that his father was engaged to another woman less than a year after his mother died. Ross McFarland would fatally shoot the woman. The teen killer was all set to go to trial but at the last minute would plead guilty to murder and be sentenced to 50 years in prison.
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An Auburn teen has pleaded guilty to murdering his father’s fiancé at an Auburn home.
Ross McFarland, who was 16 at the time of the 2019 fatal shooting, entered his guilty plea Thursday in the slaying of 66-year-old Martha Jones “Marti” White, according to the Lee County District Attorney’s Office and court records.
Authorities said Ross McFarland “harbored animosity” toward White for being engaged to his father, prominent east Alabama physician Dr. John McFarland, so soon after his mother’s death 11 months earlier.
The deadly shooting happened Oct. 17, 2019. Auburn police responded to a home on Burke Place and found White dead on the floor with a gunshot wound to the face.
White was a retired teacher from Auburn City Schools, as well as a mother and grandmother.
According to court records, investigators in their interview with Dr. McFarland discovered there was a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun missing from the home.
A witness who was a close friend of Ross McFarland told police they were in the home earlier and she witnessed him shoot White when she turned her head to look away from the teen. According to the friend, Ross McFarland picked up the shell casing and they left the scene.
Ross McFarland was arrested the following day and held without bond. Authorities said he posed a “real and present danger’’ to the public at large.
The teen, who had no prior criminal record, was previously denied youthful offender status.
Ross McFarland is sentenced to 50 years in prison.
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After his father became engaged to the lady barely 11 months after the teen’s mother died, an Alabama adolescent was sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing his doctor father’s new fiancée in a fit of wrath.
Ross McFarland, 18, pleaded guilty to the murder of instructor Martha Jones ‘Marti’ White, 66, in Auburn, Alabama on October 17, 2019.
At the time of the murder, he was 16 years old.
McFarland ‘harbored anger’ toward the lady who became engaged to his father, Dr. John McFarland, barely 11 months after his mother died, according to Lee County officials.
Donna McFarland was a scientist who died in November 2018 aged just 45. She was a microbiology graduate who’d been married to John McFarland for 22 years.
She had two other children besides Ross, who are called Avery and Samuel.
Donna McFarland’s Facebook profile, which has not been updated since before her death, lists her relationship status as separated.
Police in the city of Auburn responded to a home and found White dead on the floor with a gunshot wound to her face.
White was herself a mother of two and grandmother of five, as well as a retired teacher from the city’s school district.
White’s daughter Elizabeth Chaisson released a statement.
‘Today, we moved closer to obtaining justice for our dear mother, Marti White. She was a faithful and committed servant to ALL the children in her life, from her countless numbers of young students to her beloved family, children, and precious grandchildren,’ said Chaisson.
‘She dedicated her life to loving and showing compassion to those who needed it most. To the end of her life, she sacrificed herself to help children in need. While we know this is a step towards earthly justice, we will never know true peace and justice until we meet again,’ she added.
When authorities investigated the case, they found a .40-caliber handgun from Smith & Wesson missing from Dr. McFarland’s home.
They eventually found a witness who was a close friend of Ross McFarland, who said they saw McFarland shoot White when she turned her head to look away, News 19 said.
Ross, the witness said, picked up the bullet’s shell casing and fled.
Investigators said McFarland admitted to fantasizing about killing other people in his community, including children, in a statement after his arrest.
McFarland was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He was denied youthful offender status despite having no prior criminal record.
John McFarland serves as medical director at Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He also works as an ER doctor at East Alabama Medical Center.
McFarland has since remarried, to a retiree called Kathy Timberlake.