Couple charged in brutal beating deaths of 2 in east Nashville

Howe Garden Apartment murder

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A couple has been charged in the beating deaths of a man and his girlfriend inside an east Nashville apartment complex, Metro police said Monday.

Brandon Griswold, 20, and his girlfriend Whitney Gray, 21, are facing charges of criminal homicide.

The bodies of Preston Claybrooks Jr, 24, and Alexandra Grubbs, 23, were found dead inside unit A-3 of the Howe Garden Apartments on Greenwood Avenue.

Police responded to the apartment, which is leased by Griswold, on Saturday after Claybrook’s mother went looking for her son. He and his girlfriend were reported missing last Thursday.

The mother smelled a strong odor of decomposition coming from inside, prompting her to call.

Authorities spent all day Saturday and into Sunday at the scene. They located the victims wrapped in bedspreads and buried under junk and debris inside a closet around 2 a.m.

Evidence showed an “extremely violent” crime took place inside the apartment, and the persons responsible attempted to clean up after themselves.

Metro police began searching for Griswold and Gray after the discovery. They were located Monday afternoon at a homeless camp near Harding Place and Trousdale Drive in south Nashville.

Preston Claybrooks Jr and Alexandra Grubbs Howe Garden Apartment murder
Preston Claybrooks Jr and Alexandra Grubbs (Courtesy: Family friend)

The couple reportedly admitted to killing Claybrooks and Grubbs, who died of blunt force trauma, during questioning.

Metro police said the motive appears to be a lingering dispute between the two couples that also involved heroin use.

Grubbs’ mother, Connie Wheeler, told News 2 that “[Alexandra] was very loved in the community by everyone.”

Grubbs and Claybrooks leave behind two children who were staying with family while they were staying inside the east Nashville apartment.

Investigators are still trying to find Gray’s car. It’s a gray Impala with Oklahoma plates. Anyone who knows where it is or sees it should call Metro police at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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