Johnny Edwards Malisham was charged with murder after a tipster told police that a body might be buried in the 60-year-old’s yard.
Following the tip, police discovered that the body of Cynthia Hoover had been buried underneath a burn pit behind Malisham’s Milton, Florida home. Hoover had disappeared on March 8 without a trace and her ransacked car was discovered by Florida Highway Patrol troopers on the side of Interstate 10 ten days after she vanished.
According to the police, Malisham had killed Hoover with a hatch and then had asked the tipster for help in burying Hoover’s body in his yard. He also allegedly threatened her if she spoke to anyone about what he had done. Additionally, the tipster reported that Malisham had asked her for a ride after he discarded Hoover’s car as well, but she refused to help him.
In her police report, the tipster told authorities that Malisham was aided by a neighbor with burying Hoover’s body in his yard and one of his friends helped him to dispose of her car.
The Florida State Attorney’s Office revealed to Channel 3 on Wednesday that Malisham had previously spent 12 years in an Alabama prison for manslaughter and that his previous conviction may lead to a higher sentence.
“Part of our analysis is in their prior record,” Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said. “Certainly anybody with a prior of that magnitude, we will certainly take and vigorously prosecute that individual. We would do that with anybody under the circumstances.”
The 60-year-old is currently being held at the Santa Rosa County Jail and could face life in prison if he is convicted.