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LUTHER VANDROSS’ COUSIN CONVICTED OF MURDER:

Joann Wilson had a rocky 15-month relationship with Charles Vandross (pictured above).  Vandross is the first cousin of late R&B singer, Luther Vandross.

Joann Wilson claims she woke up in the middle of the night with Vandross’s hand over her mouth as her three children slept-and another man lay dead beside her.

The volatile relationship had ended just days before her former boyfriend, Sanford Best, was shot dead in her bed.  Vandross was charged with breaking in Wilson’s home, murdering Best and kidnapping Wilson.

Charles met Joann at a church function in Greenville, S.C. in May of 2003.  The pair struck up a friendship that soon turned into a serious relationship. Vandross eventually moved in with Brown where she lived with three of her four sons.

The couple got engaged, but their on-again, off-again relationship ended for good after being together for 15 months.  At the time, Vandross had his own apartment but kept a key to Wilson’s place since he stayed there so often.

On the night of the murder, Wilson’s ex-boyfriend Sanford Best arrived at her place to spend the night, Wilson claimed she needed a man around because she was scared of Vandross.  To avoid drama, Best parked his car down the street.

Two days earlier, Vandross showed up at Wilson’s office where she worked as a property manager.  Vandross worked down the street at a McDonald’s, he brought her a breakfast sandwich.  He also returned her house key. On Nov. 3, 2004, Wilson saw Vandross again, this time at one of her son’s football games.  Best also present, spotted Vandross staring at them. Vandross signaled to Wilson to come over to him, when she refused, he left.

That evening, Vandross parked his car 200 yards from Wilson’s home and walked there with a flashlight.  Police say when he got there, he took off his shoes, put down the flashlight and unlocked the back door using a key he copied without permission.

Vandross entered the master bedroom where Best and Wilson were sleeping.   Vandross put the gun’s barrel against Best’s temple and pulled the trigger. Vandross put his hand over Wilson’s mouth and ordered her to get up or he would kill her sons.  Wilson began struggling with him, Vandross threw her from the bed to the floor and again threatened to kill her children.  Wilson begged him to allow her to go to the bathroom, he shoved her into the bathroom.  Wilson used blood on her face to scrawl the words, “Charles V,” and “Help Me,” on the bathroom divider.

When Wilson came out of the bathroom, Vandross put duct tape across her mouth and ordered her to the car.

He ordered her to drive to a nearby church. After they arrived at the church, Vandross’s demeanor softened and he suggested they go back to the house so she could get the boys ready for school and then make arrangements for him to turn himself in.  When they arrived, Wilson grabbed the cell phone and dialed 911.

Within minutes, she heard sirens. She got her son’s and ran outside to greet the cops.  She told them, he’s in the back and he has a gun.  Police surrounded the house and approached Vandross, crouched behind an old inoperable van.  He simply said, “The gun is in my pocket” and was arrested without incident.

He was charged with murder, burglary, kidnapping and possession of a firearm.

A jury of five women and seven men deliberated approximately two hours to find Charles Vandross guilty of all charges.  For the kidnapping, he received 30 years concurrently and another 30 years for the burglary charge.

On the charge of possessing a firearm during the commission of his crimes, he received an additional five years in prison, to run consecutively.

Source: Court TV

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