One common thing in most crime stories is that the victim never suspects the assailant. A typical example is that of Dennis Lynn Rader; his family never suspected him of being the serial killer going on a rampage in Wichita, Kansas. Another example is that of Dionne Baugh; her lover and victim, Lance Herndon, never suspected her till she struck, leading to his death.
Dionne Baugh, 29, killed Lance Herndon, 41, her lover who was the founder and CEO of Access Inc. – a technology consulting agency, and also the co-owner of The Vixen Club, one of Atlanta’s top nightlife spots. Lance was regarded as a young, wealthy, and influential community member and recognized nationally as a successful entrepreneur.
As you read this post about Dionne, create movie scenes out of it because, trust me, this post is a Tyler Perry movie script in real life. Dionne’s story was adopted as a book, Redbone: Money, Malice, and Murder in Atlanta, by Ron Stodghil.
|57 years old
|Date of birth
Dionne was born in 1967 in the United States. She would have been famous for dating one of Atlanta’s black millionaires, but instead, she is renowned for killing him. Information about her childhood or other family members should stay hidden to keep them safe and avoid having their names in the wrong light.
A family who chose anonymity is happy that Dionne is out of prison but has no contact with her.
Dionne had a bright future ahead of her until 1996. Before committing that crime, she studied finance at Georgia State University while working as an executive secretary at MARTA – the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
Her prosecutor described her as a lady who had a test for finer things. She wanted more out of her ordinary life and saw Lance as a perfect fit, and she had conned her way into his birthday party.
Dionne Baugh’s husband, Shaun Nelson, is an Air Jamaica Airline pilot. His work usually kept him away from the house, allowing his wife, Dionne, to explore Atlanta.
Investigators promptly cleared him of involvement in his wife’s crimes since he was in Jamaica at the time of the incident.
When he observed his wife’s new car from Lance, he suspected her of having an affair with the millionaire and took his daughter to Jamaica. He divorced his wife in 1998 after she was convicted of murder and has remained away from media attention.
Nelson has since moved on and remarried, living a happy life in Coral Springs, Florida.
This part is where you can start your movie imagination.
Dionne’s crime story is the type where the cheat does want to be cheated on. She worked as a secretary for MARTA and used that to get into Lance’s life.
She lived a simple life with her husband and daughter but craved the American dream. Her suburban lifestyle was not satisfying her, and her husband’s absence made her lonely.
She heard of Lance’s 41st birthday and wanted in. She lied to Lance’s assistant, Zonya Adams, that her boss did not get the copy of the birthday invitation sent. The assistant, who knew she was lying, forwarded Dionne a copy of the birthday invitation.
On the other side, Lance Herndon was known to be lavish; he had the money, so you can’t judge him. He has been in and out of three marriages; he overspent on parties and attracted the finest ladies.
So, during the birthday party, Dionne caught the attention of her target and began dating him. Lance lavished on her, gave her access to his credit card, and even bought her a Mercedes Benz.
Dionne and Lance had a satisfying relationship until the night of July 10, 1996, when Dionne visited the home unannounced and saw that Lance had another woman in the house. She went full rage and banged heavily on the entrance door, rang the bell mercilessly, called Lance, and repeated that Lance had to call the cops to take Dionne away.
The cops charged Dionne with criminal trespassing, but Lance felt terrible for the decision to call the cops on her. He pressed no charges against her and bailed her later; he was, however, done with the relationship. He restricted his credit card from Dionne and planned on withdrawing the car he bought for her.
Investigations revealed that Dionne went to Lance’s house on August 9. She had fun with Lance on the bed until he fell asleep. As Lance slept, she hit him with an adjustable wrench, leaving blood stains on the wall and ceiling. She then made away with his laptop, leaving behind a silver gum wrapper.
The police made investigations into Lance’s murder. They questioned his ex-wife, Jeannine Price, who was a beneficiary of Lance’s $1 million life insurance. Dionne was also queried, but she lied that Lance came to her house in Norcross, Georgia, to loan her his laptop between 9 and 10:30 pm. Her account contradicted that of Talana Carraway, who once dated Lance. According to Talana, she returned home by 10:30 pm and was on a call with Lance until midnight.
In 1998, Dionne’s ex-husband, Nelson, revealed in his divorce plea that he asked Dionne about Lance’s death, but she violently threatened to kill him the same she killed Lance. Things were already looking bad for Dionne, but she worsened it when she said that she went to Lance’s home to pick up the laptop and was only friends with Lance – a statement contradicting her first claim that Lance brought the computer to her.
In 1998, police arrested Dionne Baugh for murder and aggravated assault. Her trial began in 2001, and she was sentenced to life imprisonment. Her case was revisited two years later because of a mistrial, but it ended in a deadlock. A third trial was set, allowing Dionne’s lawyers to negotiate a deal. Dionne pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Dionne was later released in July 2001. Some reports suggest that she may have moved to Florida or Kansas briefly, but no concrete evidence supports this claim.
Dionne Baugh and Shaun Nelson had one child, a daughter named Amanda, born in 1992. Unfortunately, their relationship quickly fell apart after Amanda’s birth. Despite the turmoil and tragedy surrounding her family, Amanda Nelson has pursued a different path. She is currently studying medicine, charting her course in life, separate from the difficulties faced by her parents.
In conclusion, the tragic story of Dionne Baugh and Lance Herndon is a cautionary tale about the complex nature of relationships, the dangers of obsession, and the unpredictable consequences of our actions.
While we may never fully understand Dionne’s motives for killing Lance, her case highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing unhealthy relationships and behaviors. It also underscores the significance of personal growth and redemption, as demonstrated by the path taken by Shaun and his daughter, Amanda.
You may never get to the root of the motive behind one killing their lover because the other party is not alive to tell their side of the story. For Dionne, she may have killed her lover to avoid criminal trespassing charges against her. But Lance would never let the police imprison her; they even had a romp the night Dionne killed Lance, so what was her motive?
For Lance, his assailant was arrested in 1998, served ten years in jail, and regained freedom in July 2011, but for Keyona Griffin, her assailant is yet to be apprehended.