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Memphis police said gun sale led to robbery & murder in a Cordova hotel parking lot

Three people are now charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting early Thursday morning.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three people have been arrested and charged after a woman was killed and a man injured in the parking lot of a Cordova hotel Thursday.

According to the affidavit, officers were checking the parking lot at the at Extended Stay America Suites Memphis Wolfchase Galleria in the 2500 block of Horizon Lake about 4 a.m. Thursday when they saw a GMC Acadia park next to a Chevrolet Silverado truck. They said they saw a woman later identified as Amanda Vanelli get out of the driver’s side of the Acadia and get into the passenger side of the truck. They said a passenger remained in the Acadia.

Credit: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Amanda Vanelli

According to the report, officers saw a man later identified as Christopher Amsden approach the driver’s side of the Silverado with a gun, and a man later identified as Clyde Stephens approach the passenger side of the truck. Officers said they saw both men fire into the truck, hitting the Acadia, the Silverado, and a nearby Kia. They said Vanelli then got out of the truck, and it sped off.

As more officers arrived, they said they found Amsden trying to help the unidentified passenger who was in the Acadia and had been hit several times by gunfire. That woman was taken to Regional One Hospital, where she died.

Credit: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Christopher Amsden

Investigators said Stephens was arrested after he was seen throwing items under a nearby tree, where they then found three guns.

Investigators said Amanda Vanelli had gotten into the driver’s seat of the Acadia and was taken into custody.

The report said officers located the truck that had taken off in the 8100 block of Highway 64, where they found a man inside shot several times. He was taken to Regional One Hospital.

The man told investigators he was meeting Vanelli to sell her a gun when he was shot. He told police she had taken the gun after the shooting. He also said he recognized one of the suspects, Stephens, as Vanelli’s boyfriend.

Credit: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Clyde Stephens

According to the affidavits, investigators said Vanelli admitted to setting up the robbery and driving everyone to the scene. They said Amsden admitted to taking part and firing shots, and said Stephens also provided a statement.

Investigators said all three suspects are convicted felons.

Vanelli is charged with first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Amsden and Stephens face those same charges, as well as a charge of employing a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony.

They are now in the Shelby County Jail without bond. They are due in court next week.

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