Murder suspect's father apologizes to family of slain grad stude - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Murder suspect's father apologizes to family of slain grad student

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After the sheriff took Joseph, Dr. Lyons said his family searched the Internet and found out McClendon had been murdered. After the sheriff took Joseph, Dr. Lyons said his family searched the Internet and found out McClendon had been murdered.
Joseph dropped out of school at Ole Miss, according to Lyons. Joseph dropped out of school at Ole Miss, according to Lyons.
Zach McClendon, 25, was found dead in LaFayette County, Mississippi Wednesday morning. Zach McClendon, 25, was found dead in LaFayette County, Mississippi Wednesday morning.

(WMC-TV) - The father of a man accused in the murder of an Ole Miss grad student requested a chance to apologize to the victim's family.

Zach McClendon, 25, was found dead in LaFayette County, Mississippi Wednesday morning.

Three men, two current Ole Miss students and one former, were charged in connection with his murder.

"I don't even know the words. I'm just so sorry. I'm sorry they had to go through this," said Dr. Hoarce Lyons, who is a father of one of the suspects.

Lyons is a former criminal justice professor.

He said his 20-year-old son, Joseph Lyons, was at home with him when sheriff deputies picked him up.

"They wouldn't tell us what was going on," said Lyons.

After the sheriff took Joseph, Dr. Lyons said his family searched the Internet and found out McClendon had been murdered.

"I started to hope and pray that there wasn't a connection, but I kind of thought there might be," he said.

Dr. Lyons said the times just matched too perfectly with his son's whereabouts.

"I certainly didn't think my son would be involved in something like that," he said.

During a visit to the jail Thursday, Dr. Lyons said Joseph talked about the night McClendon was murdered.

"He said, 'Mr. McClendon never saw it coming,' " said Dr. Lyons.

Joseph dropped out of school at Ole Miss, according to Lyons. He had been trying to help him get his life back on track. He attempted to land a spot on the show "American Idol."

Dr. Lyons said his heart and mind are with McClendon's parents.

"I think what's even more devastating is his parents' loss. That's got to be far greater, because they didn't send him here for this," said Dr. Lyons.

The two other suspects charged Thursday were current Ole Miss students Steven Wilbanks and Derick Boone. All three suspects were denied bond.

Court documents revealed the three were robbing McClendon at the time of the murder.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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