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Man arrested in ‘brutal’ killing of Tennessee counselor

A man has been arrested and charged in the “brutal murder” of a woman killed at the Tennessee counseling center where she worked, Nashville police said Thursday.

Brian Conley, 31, was arrested Thursday afternoon outside the Madison Public Library, which is across the street from Crossroads Counseling where Melissa Hamilton, 50, was found dead Wednesday morning, police said in a statement. He had checked out a book out Tuesday, police said.

“It does not appear that the two knew each other prior to the attack or that Conley had been a client” at the counseling center, Nashville police said.

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Video evidence showed that Conley entered the front doors of Crossroads around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and “it appears that he and Hamilton had a brief interaction before the lights were turned out.” After around 15 minutes, Conley appeared to leave through the rear exit, police said.

Hamilton suffered multiple stab wounds, police said.

Police said Conley refused to speak to detectives after his arrest but “had a wound to his right hand consistent with Hamilton’s stab wounds.”

Police said in a statement that Conley is being charged in the killing. Online Davidson County inmate records show that Conley was being held early Friday and suggest he was arrested on a charge of criminal homicide.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Conley, and it was unclear early Friday if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Hamilton was the assistant director and a counselor at the center, which provides domestic violence, alcohol and drug treatment services, according to the company’s website.

Hamilton’s husband contacted police early Wednesday after he grew concerned that his wife hadn’t come home, the Nashville Police Department told NBC News this week.

Hamilton was running a group counseling session that ended around 7:30 pm, police have said. She was the mother of two sons, The Tennessean newspaper reported.