Texas murder suspect in Oklahoma custody dispute when partner shot

BY MICHAEL BAKER mbaker@opubco.com Modified: December 8, 2010 at 6:27 am •  Published: December 8, 2010

The woman who is accused of killing her partner in Texas in 2008, was involved in a custody dispute just months before with her ex-husband in Oklahoma, court records show.

Seidah Muhammad Vaughn, a teacher who was arrested Monday at Douglass High School, was married to Celam Vaughn until December 2006, according to court records. Seidah Vaughn is a suspect in the 2008 killing of Judith Marie Bell.

According to Oklahoma County District Court documents, Celam Vaughn claimed Seidah Vaughn had “wrongfully abducted” and hidden the ex-couple's 16-year-old son. Celam Vaughn filed the case in August 2007. Seidah Vaughn claimed her ex-husband had abused the boy.

In October 2007, Judge Geary L. Walke ordered the boy to be returned to his father and maintained Seidah Vaughn's visitation rights. The judge also appointed a guardian to advocate on behalf of the boy. A trial was scheduled for July 14, 2008, to determine child custody matters.

Before the trial happened, Bell was shot and killed inside the home she shared with Seidah Vaughn in February 2008.

“We were aware that the roommate had died,” said attorney Tracey J. Miller, who represented Celam Vaughn during the Oklahoma County court proceedings. “It wasn't an issue in our case because she wasn't a suspect.”

Celam and Seidah Vaughn came to an agreement on July 3, 2008, before the scheduled trial. Celam Vaughn's case was withdrawn, with the original divorce decree and custody arrangement filed in Texas in December 2006 left in full force and effect, according to court documents.

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