Maichelle Trotter Murder: Where Are James Stanfield and Anthony Stokes Now?

The residents of the upscale neighborhood of Hillsboro in Nashville, Tennessee, were left shocked when the police began investigating a possible homicide after blood splatters and a part of a human ear were found inside a local Exxon station. The victim, soon identified as Maichelle Trotter, was nowhere to be seen, although the police believed she was gravely injured.

Eventually, the 23-year-old turned out to be the victim of a homicide, and her case is detailed in the Investigation Discovery’s episode ‘Deadly Recall: No Body No Crime.’ If you are intrigued by this case and want to find out where Maichelle’s killer is at present, we have you covered.

How Did Maichelle Trotter Die?

A resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Maichelle Trotter was just 23-years-old at the time of her murder. While her family and loved ones described her as a lively and down-to-earth individual who had great aspirations for the future, Maichelle was known for her helpful and friendly nature. People acquainted with her mentioned how she could always be depended on in any situation. Reports noted that she was a diligent employee at an Exxon station in Hillsboro. However, the world came crashing down around her loved ones when a crime fuelled by hate claimed the young woman’s life.

On the morning of January 22, 1993, the owner of the Exxon station where Maichelle worked arrived at the building to find blood splatters all over the bay area. He immediately called 911, and once first responders reached the scene, they did a thorough search but could not discover a body. Instead, they found a piece of a human ear on the floor and a bloody palmprint on a nearby workbench. Moreover, a safe containing money sat nearby, although nothing seemed to be stolen. During the investigation, authorities learned that Maichelle, an employee of the same Exxon station, was missing.

The police believed Maichelle was attacked inside the station the previous night. Their theory was strengthened once the owner confirmed that Maichelle was the last person to leave the station on a workday. When law enforcement officials were eventually led to Maichelle’s body days later, they discovered that she was attacked and locked inside the trunk of her car before her killers dumped the car in a lake. Subsequently, an autopsy determined that the 23-year-old died from blunt force trauma.

Who Killed Maichelle Trotter?

The initial investigation into Maichelle Trotter’s death was tricky as they did not have a body, to begin with. While a thorough search of the crime scene revealed a bloody palmprint, law enforcement officials were unable to match it to anyone in the system. Hence, without any leads or witnesses, the case sat dormant for a few days. Nevertheless, the authorities kept up their investigation and canvassed the area around the Exxon station. They went from door to door asking people if they saw anything and even interviewed several of Maichelle’s acquaintances, but to no avail.

Anthony Stokes

From the looks of it, Maichelle had vanished into thin air, and her loved ones had no idea why anyone would hurt the 23-year-old. As Maichelle’s car was missing along with her, the police put out an APB for the vehicle. They even urged the public to come forward and announced a $10,000 reward for any information that would lead to Maichelle’s whereabouts. Even then, leads were hard to come by, and detectives kept meeting one dead end after another. Eventually, the police gathered that the attacker(s) would have known Maichelle’s work schedule to plan a robbery at the station.

Thus, they began interviewing her present and past co-workers in case they had anything to offer. Although none of their prints matched the palm print at the murder scene, a certain ex-co-worker named James Stanfield stood out. Detectives had a gut instinct that he had something to hide. On top of that, James did not have a proper alibi for the night of the murder. The show mentioned that further investigation showed how James was previously involved in a robbery; once the police went over to his house, they found his roommate, Anthony Stokes, who was also present at the scene of the crime.

Where Are James Stanfield and Anthony Stokes Now?

Anthony Stokes told the police that he knew Maichelle Trotter and had even dated her for a while. Still, when he was unable to provide an alibi for the night of Maichelle’s murder, authorities asked for his handprint and brought him down to the police station for further questioning. Anthony’s print turned out to be a perfect match to the bloody palmprint found at the murder scene, and the police knew that they had their man.

James Stanfield

However, it would be challenging for one person to kill Maichelle and dispose of her body elsewhere, which led the authorities back to James Stanfield. When James was questioned for the second time, detectives pushed him harder, and he finally gave in and confessed to the murder. James claimed they planned to rob the Exxon station, but upon finding Maichelle there, Anthony beat her to death with a tire iron. They then put her body in the trunk of her vehicle and dumped the car inside a lake.

James even led the police to where they disposed of Maichelle’s body, and law enforcement officials were finally able to arrest James and Anthony for their involvement in the crime. When produced in court, James Stanfield and Anthony Stokes pled guilty to the first-degree murder of Maichelle Trotter. James was further convicted of two additional charges related to arson and especially aggravated robbery.

In 1993, the murder charge netted both James and Anthony 51 years in prison, while James was given an additional 30-year sentence due to the other charges. Surprisingly, current prison records do not mention Anthony Stokes. Still, with him not being eligible for parole as of the time of writing, we believe that Anthony is still incarcerated in a Tennessee prison. On the other hand, James remains behind bars at the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Only, Tennessee, and will be eligible for release in 2023.

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