Waitress helps police catch suspect in couple’s murders

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 2:24 AM CDT
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) - A double murder suspect is in custody, thanks in part to help police received from a Florida waitress who served the suspect just hours before his alleged crimes.

Valerie Court works at a restaurant in Daytona Beach’s Ocean Walk. When police released images of a person of interest in the deaths of a married couple, she realized she served that person March 5 and had a credit card receipt.

“I’m very happy that I was able to help them get a dangerous person off the street,” Court said.

Police say husband and wife 48-year-old Terry and 55-year-old Brenda Aultman were viciously...
Police say husband and wife 48-year-old Terry and 55-year-old Brenda Aultman were viciously stabbed and their throats slashed as they rode bicycles home in Daytona Beach, Florida.(Source: Daytona Beach Police, WESH via CNN)

Court says she knew after she saw him on the news that the man, now identified as 32-year-old Jean Macean, sat at her table for a late lunch, dressed in the same outfit and carrying a backpack.

“I thought maybe he wanted to be left alone because he was short-worded with me, so I just kept his tea filled up,” she said.

Hours after that encounter, 48-year-old Terry and 55-year-old Brenda Aultman were viciously stabbed early Sunday as they rode bicycles home. Police say their throats were slashed.

Court says Macean’s credit card read “my temporary pay card” and didn’t have his name on it, but he did sign and initial the receipt “JM.” Police were able to use that receipt to track Macean to a location in Orlando, where he was later arrested.

“I wanted to catch this guy. I wanted to help the police department and help the community and catch him and get him. I knew I had valuable information,” Court said.

Jean Macean, 32, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Aultmans’ deaths....
Jean Macean, 32, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Aultmans’ deaths. Police say he confessed to the crimes, but investigators have not yet determined a motive.(Source: Daytona Beach Police, WESH via CNN)

Macean is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Aultmans’ deaths. Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young says he confessed to the crimes, but investigators have not yet determined a motive.

Court contacted police before the agency offered a $50,000 reward, but there’s no doubt her information was crucial, at least in part. Police have not yet determined if or when the reward will be paid out.

“I didn’t do it for the reward. I did it to help the police department get a dangerous person off the street,” Court said.

Even with Macean now in custody, Court says she is still chilled by her interaction with the man and relieved he was identified and arrested.

Macean is being held without bond.

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