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Charges dropped against Okla. teacher in partner's 2008 murder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Charges were dropped against an Oklahoma high school teacher who was arrested on a murder warrant in 2010 for the 2008 fatal shooting of her domestic partner and fellow teacher in Texas. 

Oklahoma City Public Schools spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy said Seidah Muhammad Vaughn was arrested Dec. 6, 2010 at Douglass High School in the murder of Judy Bell.

According to CBS affiliate KWTV, both Bell and Vaughn were teachers at Permenter Middle School in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Authorities said Vaughn, identified as Bell’s partner, told police an intruder entered Bell’s home Feb. 29, 2008 and fatally shot the special education teacher in the head; however, detectives found no signs of forced entry into the home.

For the next two years, police continued their investigation which spanned three states in hopes of finding new evidence in the murder case.

After conducting numerous interviews, a witness came forward with new information that led to a murder indictment for Vaughn, reports KWTV. But the case against her was dismissed on March 16, 2012. The Dallas County District Attorney’s office didn’t provide more information about the reason for dismissal.

After the murder, Vaughn moved to Oklahoma City and began working as a substitute teacher in early 2009. Shortly thereafter, Vaughn was given her first teaching assignment at Northeast High School until she was transferred to Douglass High School where she worked as a language arts teacher.

“We did our due diligence by looking up her background check and we do that with every employee,” said Kennedy.

Vaughn later filed a civil suit claiming her Constitutional rights were violated and alleging malicious prosecution, false arrest, and false imprisonment. The suit that named three Cedar Hill police employees was dismissed in January 2016, according to a judge’s ruling.

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