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Arrests made in soldier's slaying

5 more face charges for withholding information

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Two men were arrested Thursday in connection with the early morning slaying of a military policeman last month.

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Edwin Cruz and Erik Williams, shown, face murder charges in the July 17 shootings.   Special
Special
Edwin Cruz and Erik Williams, shown, face murder charges in the July 17 shootings.

Investigators named Erik Williams Jr., 20, as the triggerman who fired two shots on July 17 at DeAngelo Hudgins and Albert Gilbert.

Edwin Cruz, 21, is accused of driving the getaway car that sped away from the apartment complex where the shooting happened, investigators say.

Both are charged with murder.

Gilbert, 25, was hit in the stomach, but was still able to bang on doors and rouse someone to call for help at Sanctuary Apartments. Hudgins, also 25, was hit in the chest and died the next day at Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, where he served as an MP.

The 9 mm pistol used in the shooting was the key to cracking the case, Capt. Scott Peebles said Thursday night.

Richmond County investigators were tipped off Wednesday by their colleagues in Columbia County that the weapon had been recovered in an unrelated case. Ballistics tests confirmed that it was the gun that killed Hudgins, according to a news release.

That tip led investigators Thursday to Williams' home in the 200 block of Sassafrass Lane in Grovetown, where both Williams and Cruz were taken into custody and brought to the sheriff's office for questioning.

They were later charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Williams has an additional charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Their statements also led to the arrest of five people who knew the identity of Hudgins' shooter, but are accused of lying about it to investigators, a news release states.

Peebles said investigators suspected all along that the five were withholding information and warned them several times about the consequences.

Those charged with making false statements in a government matter are: Trenee Johnson, 20, and Jasmine Johnson, 19, both of the 5000 block of Sanctuary Drive; Shardae Davis, 19, and Tony Davis, 18, both the 500 block of Wendover Ct.; and Crystal Pryear, 18, of the 1300 block of Wickham Court.

Peebles said Hudgins and Gilbert were in an argument earlier that evening with the five people. The two accused in the slaying went by the apartment complex later that night to check on their friends and more words were exchanged.

Two shots were fired and both hit their target, Peebles said.

Because of a reporter's error, Friday's edition of The Augusta Chronicle transposed the names of a man injured by gunfire in July, Albert Gilbert, and a suspect arrested Thursday, Erik Williams Jr.

The Chronicle regrets the error.

Comments (22) Add comment
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overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/13/10 - 05:51 am
0
0
A cooperative effort between

A cooperative effort between the two county Sheriff's Offices with a very successful bust. Good job guys.

sdrwtcn
0
Points
sdrwtcn 08/13/10 - 06:30 am
0
0
I wonder if they survived

I wonder if they survived Irag or Afghanistan to come back to this bs with these stupid small people.

KSL
126363
Points
KSL 08/13/10 - 07:21 am
0
0
Criminals need to start

Criminals need to start wising up. More and more are getting caught and getting caught quickly. Now if the justice system would just do their part we might have deterrent.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 08/13/10 - 07:43 am
0
0
KSL, you're absolutely

KSL, you're absolutely correct. Witnesses need to also know that if they lie to investigators, then they will also be charged as the five witnesses in this case have been charged. The lesson here is that if a person commits a crime, they will be caught; and if a person witnesses a crime, and lies about what happened, then they will also go to jail. Good work by the CC and RC Sheriff's Offices.

KSL
126363
Points
KSL 08/13/10 - 07:49 am
0
0
I can't imagine how

I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to law enforcement to have these criminals back on the streets so quickly. I commend them for continuing their great efforts in view of our justice system.

fatboyhog
1902
Points
fatboyhog 08/13/10 - 08:00 am
0
0
If convicted, I hope that the

If convicted, I hope that the punishment is served swiftly and crispy.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 08/13/10 - 08:40 am
0
0
I am so glad that these scums

I am so glad that these scums were caught....great job to RC and CC law enforcement.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 08/13/10 - 09:44 am
0
0
Ok, someone has to say it. I

Ok, someone has to say it. I wonder if Edwin Cruz is a legal US citizen or an illegal alien?

alaskabound
0
Points
alaskabound 08/13/10 - 10:00 am
0
0
Thanks so much to the

Thanks so much to the Richmond County Sheriff's Department. We are still saddend by this tragedy, however, there is consolation knowing that these guys are not on the street to do this to someone else's child. To the city of Augusta and Fort Gordon your support has gone beyond the call of duty and for that I am so thankful. Simply signed Dee's mom.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 08/13/10 - 10:13 am
0
0
Why wasn't this investigated

Why wasn't this investigated by military police? Would this not fall under federal jurisdiction?

trujustis
69
Points
trujustis 08/13/10 - 10:30 am
0
0
Alaskabound, I am sorry for

Alaskabound, I am sorry for your loss.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 08/13/10 - 10:44 am
0
0
KSL, ‘Criminals need to start

KSL, ‘Criminals need to start wising up. More and more are getting caught and getting caught quickly. Now if the justice system would just do their part we might have deterrent.’
The guvamint schools and the entitlement programs are producing this kind of trash faster than our justice system can put them away. Our prisons are over flowing but our society refuses to address the real problems.

fatboyhog
1902
Points
fatboyhog 08/13/10 - 11:06 am
0
0
It is a state crime. I

It is a state crime. I happened off post.

rubberducky
0
Points
rubberducky 08/13/10 - 11:06 am
0
0
peonynut, since DeAngelo and

peonynut, since DeAngelo and Albert were both off duty and the shooting happened off post military police had no jurisdiction. But if the suspects and/or the vehicle were to come on post then we would apprehend them and detain them until RC came to pick them up. Trust me when I say that we would have loved nothing more then to be part of the investigation. We are all happy that the outstanding offficers assigned to the case brought these criminals to justice. RIP Hudgins. WE miss you brother!

another day
0
Points
another day 08/13/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0
I don't condone this shooting

I don't condone this shooting but I want to clear up a few things - 1st of all - YES, Cruz is a legal citizen. 2nd- the story is not being told in completion, the "criminals" were actually making sure that a few of their friends (18yo girls) got home ok (not a criminal like action). They, the "victims" (25yo men, both almost 6 ft tall), were the ones that Erik & Edwin were trying to protect the girls from. The shooting occured where the girls lived at, not the soldiers, the soldiers should never have been there. If Erik & Edwin had not been there, Lord only knows what would have happened to the girls. When the "victims" were trying to intimidate the "criminals" is when they (Erik & Edwin) should have tried to get away, but instead panic came in & then the shooting took place. This should NOT be a federal case because the shooting was at a civilian not a person in uniform, and it happened off post. If this becomes federal, then they are saying that these soldiers are more valuable than the rest of us, regardless of their actions or attire. Again, not condoning the shooting, my heart goes out to the victims & their families, but don't portray Erick & Edwin as thugs, they were making sure that these girls were safe.

anonymous1223
0
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anonymous1223 08/13/10 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Anotherday: Although there

Anotherday:
Although there are always two sides to a story, I think you may have been mis informed or heard an exaggeration. By the words that you spoke earlier, I can tell that you have never been lucky enough to meet the two victims. The image that you are trying to paint of them is false and sickening. Neither of them would ever harm anyone unless they absolutely had to. As for your statement saying that they should not have been there, also ridiculous. It looks like somebody twisted a story after the fact to save there butt. Regardless of how you feel or what you've heard. It is disrespectful to the family and friends of these two men for you paint a picture making them look at fault and portraying them to be something they are not. They didnt deserve what happened to them. Even if it was poor judgement by the suspects, which is an understatement, dont make the victims out to be bad guys. You cant excuse an action like that.

As far as this becoming a federal case, it would not say that a soldier is more valuable than a civilian, the victims in this shooting were LAW ENFORCEMENT. They PROTECTED people both here in the states and overseas.

God bless them.

RIP Hudgins

sassygirl352
0
Points
sassygirl352 08/13/10 - 02:32 pm
0
0
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO

WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO THESE LOW LIFES IS SEND THEM OVER TO FIGHT THIS MESS WE ARE IN. THEY LIKE TO SHOOT GUNS SO SEND THE BUMS OVER THERE TO DO IT, AND BRING BACK THE INNOCENT ONES.

Pathfinder
0
Points
Pathfinder 08/13/10 - 02:56 pm
0
0
Thanks to our Lord, Richmond

Thanks to our Lord, Richmond County Sheriff's Department Investigators, and all assisting agencies / patrol. I feel better about putting on my stetson. Thanks for all the support from Augusta / Ft. Gordon and beyond. You all have shown great love, thank you. Dee's dad.

Sweet son
10076
Points
Sweet son 08/13/10 - 03:57 pm
0
0
I don"t understand why the

I don"t understand why the fight or argument occurred. I hope that it wasn't over a bag of marihuana or some other illegal substance. I haven't heard this mentioned but if not it was probably over a woman.

So sad!!

deandre19
0
Points
deandre19 08/13/10 - 04:16 pm
0
0
some things happenis but

some things happenis but r.i.p d but theres one thing i kown for sure this news needs to get theres facts staright a bout things and not give the worng information...thinks

like-it-is
311
Points
like-it-is 08/13/10 - 11:12 pm
0
0
DEANDRE19, check your comment

DEANDRE19, check your comment before posting. RC will get to the bottom of this story. i feel for the victims families and happy they caught these guys. if these young men thought these young ladies were going to be harm, they could have call the COPS instead of using DEADLY FORCE

trimmy
29
Points
trimmy 08/14/10 - 02:11 pm
0
0
These guys look like illegal
Unpublished

These guys look like illegal landscapers.

like-it-is
311
Points
like-it-is 08/14/10 - 06:34 pm
0
0
thats funny trimmy

thats funny trimmy

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