The terrible death of Tray Phelps sent shockwaves across Hayti, Missouri, a small hamlet.
Justice was carried out and the offenders were brought to justice thanks to the persistent work of law enforcement.
On September 24, 2015, Tray Phelps, a cherished family guy and musician, was brutally murdered, shocking the community of Hayti, Missouri.
The subsequent inquiry exposed a network of dishonesty and betrayal, resulting in the arrest and conviction of five people.
Tray Phelps living with his fiancée and their five-year-old son on Swan Lake Drive in Hayti, Missouri.
The choice to give shared custody of their son to his ex-wife, Heather Cummings, did not sit well with her.
Tray’s body was found on the morning of September 24, 2015, next to his car in his driveway.
His death was attributed to blunt force injuries caused by an unidentified instrument, according to an autopsy.
Investigation and Arrests
Heather Cummings, who had a tumultuous relationship with Tray and was unhappy about sharing custody of their kid, was the primary focus of the police investigation.
Bert Allen Ellison, Heather’s ex-boyfriend, was detained by the police and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action the day following the murder. He was from Bradford, Tennessee.
On his phone, Bert had images of Tray’s house, proving he was involved in the murder.
On October 7, 2015, the police detained Chester Cummings, Heather’s father, who was also accused of first-degree murder and armed criminal behaviour.
Despite driving Bert to Tray’s house, Chester insisted that he was unaware of Tray’s murderous plans.
In addition, the police detained Heather’s mother, Ronda Jean Cummings, for obstructing justice and tampering with physical evidence. Michael Jay Hemingway was also detained.
Tray Phelps murder: The investigation continues
The police believed that someone had assisted the offenders in destroying or concealing evidence.
Michael Jay Hemingway admitted to aiding the murderers in getting rid of a suitcase that contained evidence of the crime, according to a probable cause statement.
Hemingway received the bag from Chester Cummings, who then threw it away.
Important evidence incriminating Chester and Bert in a homicide case was uncovered during the police investigation.
This proof showed that Heather Cummings, Tray’s ex-wife, had dropped both suspects off at Tray’s house the morning of the murder.
Heather was detained and accused of first-degree murder in November 2015.
Where is he now?
Heather Cummings entered a guilty plea to the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in court following her arrest in 2017.
Her father, Chester Cummings, and her ex-boyfriend, Bert Ellison, had previously entered guilty pleas to first-degree murder conspiracy and second-degree murder conspiracy, respectively.
Ellison was given a five-year prison term for his part in the plot, while Heather’s mother, Ronda Cummings, was given a four-year sentence for her part in the murder.
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