Local News

Minister who killed wife out of prison

Posted December 15, 2009

— A former Sanford pastor has been released from prison after serving more than five years for killing his wife.

Melvin Bynum, 47, pleaded guilty in January 2007 to voluntary manslaughter in the strangulation death of 40-year-old Marnita Bynum, his wife of 19 years.

Authorities found the body of Marnita Bynum, a substitute teacher, in the trunk of her Chrysler Sebring convertible, which had been abandoned on a rural road north of Hamlet on Aug. 2, 2004.

Melvin Bynum, the pastor of Cry Out Loud Ministries in Sanford, originally was charged with first-degree murder in the case and could have faced the death penalty if convicted on that charge.

He was held in the Richmond County Jail following his arrest in September 2004 and was moved to a state prison following his guilty plea to finish his 64- to 86-month sentence.


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  • alidani_sanders Dec 17, 2009

    Marnita Bynum was a wonderful woman. I still have the watch she gave me as a present for graduating high school in 1996. God bless her two sons: Brock and Marquail. They are the real victims.

  • trojandnc Dec 15, 2009

    Maybe ole Bev Perdue should be "furious" over this too.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. This lady and her family must not be as important as a State Trooper in the eyes of the Governor.

  • kbo80 Dec 15, 2009

    What is really going on with these sentences? Five years for strangling your wife then, putting her body in a trunk. He might as well have been found innocent.

  • dohicky Dec 15, 2009

    amazing most people I have encountered and worked with gave me the impression religion has nothing to do with morality. And I have worked with plenty of them

  • pscottrn Dec 15, 2009

    Are we saying this woman's life is worth 5 years? How sad.

  • donnaferguson Dec 15, 2009

    He will be judged by a higher authority!! How dare he call himself a man of God.

  • Adelinthe Dec 15, 2009

    shakenbake - "He is a man of God! Jesus teaches us to forgive and to forget. He probably prayed his way out of jail."

    Jesus also said, "Thou shalt not kill" or didn't you read the whole book?

    God bless.


  • Just the facts mam Dec 15, 2009

    Wow - even the preachers are violent...

  • My opinion not yours Dec 15, 2009

    I'm moving to Northern Alberta Canada!!!!

  • uropinionmatters Dec 15, 2009

    WRAL did a story about black churches a year or two ago. They talked about how the pastor and deacons basically ran a racket within the church. It was sort of like the pastor being the king and the deacons were his "escort" that took care of him and helped to "make things happen" and "cover stuff up".

    Okay I know you are only referring to a particular article but most "black churches" have the deacons and board to assure the pastor is "not covering up stuff" and to make sure he is held accountable for his actions.