Moss Point family finds closure after woman’s murderer is sentenced to life

Octavius Black was found guilty this week in the 2018 murder of Betty Vaughans.
Betty Vaughans is being remembered as a mother and grandmother with a giving nature who was willing to help anyone, even the man convicted of killing her.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Moss Point man will spend the rest of his life behind bars, and a grieving daughter will spend the rest of her days wishing her mother was still here.

Octavius Black, 35, was found guilty Wednesday in the 2018 murder of a Moss Point woman. The victim’s family is rejoicing that guilty verdict.

“Virtuous woman. Very, very spiritual. She was mom to anybody,” Teatta Vaughans said about her mother, Betty Vaughans.

A mother and grandmother with a giving nature who was willing to help anyone, even the man convicted of killing her.

“It wasn’t like a car accident, or she was sick. It was just someone deliberately taking her life for absolutely no reason,” Vaughans said.

In October 2018, Octavius Black was arrested after running over Betty Vaughans, 58, on Bellview Drive in Moss Point. According to police, the two had a disagreement over Vaughans’ Cadillac Escalade. Black used that same vehicle to run her over. Vaughans was found dead in her driveway by a family member.

“This was somebody that we trusted, somebody that we allowed to come into our home, someone that we fed, clothed, made sure that their children ate, made sure the children had a roof over their heads,” Vaughans said. “In the short amount of time that I knew him, he seemed like a well-respected young man.”

Until he snapped. It’s a murder the Jackson County Assistant District Attorney, labeled as “merciless and savage.”

Since 2018, her family has been working to make sure her death was not in vain.

“Trial was an emotional rollercoaster, after visually seeing how this happened, it kind of made us relive that moment when we got that phone call,” Vaughans said.

There comes a time in all our lives when we are transformed, and all we can do is choose how we are changed. Some sit in drowning grief. For others, like Vaughans, they choose to rise up and accept a spirit of forgiveness.

“I made it clear to him, I’m not angry with you. It was just a heat of the moment that turned tragic,” Vaughans said.

Vaughans understands the ruling won’t bring her mother back, but it gives the family left behind the justice they deserve.

“Now that I have my closure, we’re able to go on and move forward in life and put all this to rest,” Vaughans said.

Black was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.