NBC’s ‘Dateline: Shannon’s Story’ examines the 1994 tale of Shannon Melendi’s disappearance and murder. The 19-year-old Emory University sophomore was last seen alive on March 26, 1994, vanishing from the Citgo gas station near Decatur Road in Atlanta, Georgia, where she had purchased a soft drink. On that Saturday afternoon, she had just finished scorekeeping a softball game when she was abducted, raped, and slain by a man who didn’t admit guilt for another 12 years. The authorities, though, had been on his tail from the get-go. So, let’s find out exactly where Colvin Cornelious “Butch” Hinton III is now, shall we?
Who Is Colvin Cornelious “Butch” Hinton III?
In 1994, Colvin Cornelious “Butch” Hinton III was a full-time employee of Delta Airlines while working at the now-defunct Softball Country Club on North Decatur Road, Atlanta, as an umpire. Serving with Shannon, Colvin flirted with her constantly during games, which even led to the softball club’s management giving him an official warning. Plus, as per his extensive criminal record, he had a well-known history of violence and assaulting women. In fact, back in the 1980s, he was imprisoned for a 14-year-old girl’s abduction and molestation.
Thus, when all these components got combined, Colvin became the primary suspect in Shannon’s case. The fact that he set fire to his Clayton County home in September 1994, months after officers began searching it for evidence, did not help his cause either. So, when he was released from federal prison after serving his sentence for arson and insurance fraud, the authorities charged him with Shannon Melendi’s abduction and murder. They cited new evidence, including Colvin’s alleged confessions to inmates, as the reason for his arrest.
Where Is Colvin Cornelious “Butch” Hinton III Now?
During Colvin Cornelious “Butch” Hinton III’s trial, experts testified that the defendant lost his job at Delta Airlines in mid-1994 after some of his co-workers claimed to have heard him brag about a possible connection to a homicide. However, this was not before investigators discovered a ring belonging to Shannon in a bag that contained particles that can only be found in, on, or around jet engines, linking Colvin to the offense. With all this, in September 2005, Colvin Hinton became the first person in Georgia to be convicted of murder without the victim’s body or even evidence of a crime scene.
As the prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty, Colvin was given life in prison. Initially, he maintained his innocence in the matter. But in July 2006, he confessed to everything, even admitting that he was the man who tipped the authorities about the ring. Therefore, at the age of 60, Colvin is currently incarcerated at the Hays State Prison in Underwood Drive, Trion, Chattooga County. Under Georgian law, he is eligible for parole every seven years. Yet, he has been denied release both times he has appeared before the parole board until now – the latest one being in 2020. His next parole consideration date is in February 2025.
According to Colvin’s confession, he raped Shannon Melendi twice, saying that she never lost control of her emotions. “She didn’t ever try to scratch – no hitting,” he said. “I kept telling her, ‘As soon as I get your car sold or rid of, I will let you go,’ and she said ‘All right.”’ Colvin added that Shannon was cooperative throughout the whole process, but that he used a tie to strangle her at about two in the morning on March 27, 1994. “I came over on top of her real quick,” Colvin revealed. “I took the tie and put it around her neck…I think I crossed it…It happened a lot quicker than I ever thought.” He believes that Shannon was asleep at the time.
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