Woman Held Prisoner and Beaten to Death by Friends Because She Wouldn’t Hand Over Her Boyfriend's Food Stamp Card: Police

Alabama Woman Beaten to Death by Friends Over Food Stamp Card
Susan Otts, Tamara Giarrusso, Karen Kirby
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

updated 08/16/2015 AT 02:50 PM EDT

originally published 08/13/2015 AT 11:00 AM EDT

An Alabama woman was held prisoner and pummeled to death by three women who wanted her boyfriend's food stamps, police say.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department announced murder charges on Monday in the Aug. 7 slaying of 34-year-old Miranda Michelle Lynch, according to the The Birmingham News. Authorities say Karen Lee Kirby admitted she struck Lynch during an argument.

Kirby, 57, was arrested on Aug. 7. Her charges were upgraded to murder this week. Now two other women are also charged with kidnapping and capital murder alongside her – her daughter, Susan Otts, 39, and Tamara Giarrusso, 43.

Authorities say they received a call from a man about women screaming inside a mobile home around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 7. When they arrived, they found Lynch dead on the bathroom floor, according to police.



Woman Held Prisoner and Beaten to Death by Friends Because She Wouldn’t Hand Over Her Boyfriend's Food Stamp Card: Police| True Crime

Miranda Michelle Lynch



Authorities believe Lynch and her boyfriend (whose name has not been released) were staying at the home with Kirby. The boyfriend borrowed Kirby's car to go pick up his EBT (food stamp) card. While on his way to get the card on Aug. 5, he had a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer truck and was critically injured. He's still fighting for his life at a local hospital.

"He had a wreck, they expected him to die. I believe he is still int he hospital, still critical, and they hatched a plan. They sought to steal those benefits and get them for themselves," Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian told WVTM-TV.

Kriby and Otts have prior convictions – Otts for drug possession, theft and domestic violence-harassment; Kirby for public intoxication and drugs, court records show. No prior arrests for Giarrusso were on record, according to the paper.

All three are being held without bond in the county jail.

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