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Teens were killed execution style

Suspects sought in Thanksgiving Day deaths of 2 girls

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Two Aiken teenagers found dead on Thanksgiving morning had been led into a wooded area in downtown Augusta by at least two men and shot -- "execution style" -- in the backs of their heads.

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Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles provides new details, including the manner of death of two Aiken County teenagers, during a news conference.  Adam Folk/Staff
Adam Folk/Staff
Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles provides new details, including the manner of death of two Aiken County teenagers, during a news conference.


At a news conference Monday, Richmond County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles released more disturbing details in the deaths of Angela Brooks, 19, of Warrenville, and Nancy Cushman, 17, of Beech Island. The teens' bodies were found by a passerby near a wooded path at the corner of Twiggs Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard early Thursday.

Initially listed as a person of interest in the case, Peebles said Travis Lorenzo Berrian, 26, is a suspect in the killings. Authorities are also searching for a second man who appears in surveillance video released by investigators.

"At some point after being led there (the victims) were placed side-by-side and shot execution style at that location," Peebles said.

"They were at least kneeling, possibly lying on the ground."

Investigators worked through the weekend and into Monday on the girls' case, and on the unrelated slaying of Samuel Carroll Jr. on Sunday night. The three deaths brought this year's homicide total to 38, the highest since 1993, according to Augusta Chronicle records. That year, there were 42 homicides.

A man wanted for Carroll's killing -- 23-year-old Desmond Marquette Anthony -- turned himself in to deputies Monday afternoon and was charged with murder.

During Monday's press conference about the Thanksgiving Day killings, Peebles said one of the girls, Cushman, had a recent "on-again, off-again" relationship with Berrian and that the girls had gone to visit him the night of the shootings

"They had had some significant issues leading up to Thanksgiving morning that I cannot get into," Peebles said.

"We have speculation, right now, and we have ideas on motives. We have many theories floating at this point."

A video released at the press conference shows two men -- one of them identified as Berrian -- exiting the back doors of Cushman's 1999 Cadillac Escalade at the Smart Grocery at 3221 Wrightsboro Road at 12:20 a.m.

Peebles said officers do not know who was driving the SUV and could not say for sure whether the victims were in the vehicle.

Cushman's SUV was found abandoned at Second and Telfair streets shortly after the bodies were found. Investigators think the Escalade was driven from the crime scene to where it was abandoned.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the killings. Anyone with information can contact the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080 and can remain anonymous.

Suspect surrenders to police

Desmond Marquette Anthony, 23, turned himself in to deputies Monday afternoon after he was charged with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Samuel Carroll Jr.

Carroll's body was found near a path along the north side of Building 1 of the Fairway Village Apartments shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday. Authorities are still not clear on the motive but said robbery is suspected, according to sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles.

"I think there is a lot about that case that we still don't know yet," Peebles said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there are more arrests."

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kmb413
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kmb413 11/30/10 - 09:57 am
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2 young white girls?

2 young white girls?

Burke
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Burke 11/30/10 - 10:05 am
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@vls214 While passing

@vls214 While passing judgment certainly won't bring them back, if done correctly it will minimize the occurrence of such atrocious crimes. A society that doesn't judge these events with a degree of righteous anger is certain to experience more tragedy than it needs to. I hope the friends of the families are taking proper care of them during such a time as this, but passing judgment on passing judgment is the wrong move.

libertarianvoter
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libertarianvoter 11/30/10 - 10:51 am
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I know someone that knew the

I know someone that knew the girls, and they are not white, so that point is moot.

I notice a lot more teenage girls going with guys that are 25+. This needs to stop, and it has to be stopped by families. I'm not saying the girls are to blame by any means (b/c this guy should have been locked up anyways), but the parents should know this could have been prevented.

I see what Patty is saying though, "ebs421, you can't discipline kids anymore, unless you want a felony child abuse charge on your record. That's exactly the reason the kids nowadays have no respect for anyone."

It's true. Parents need to regain as much control as they can over THEIR children.

mable8
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mable8 11/30/10 - 11:59 am
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The event, itself, is horrid

The event, itself, is horrid enough. It is made worse by the fact that the suspect has a record of violence and was still allowed to exit prison early. There are two families that are grieving because justice was not fully meted out, but one cannot blame law enforcement for this. Hopefully, they will apprehend the felons responsible for this senseless act, achieve a conviction, and give them the death penalty.

Patty-P is right; the threat of child abuse for disciplining children does matter in child-rearing practices. This does not mean that people should go over-board and beat their child senseless or kill him in the process, but it does mean that parents should have the right to paddle the offending child for serious infractions. Children know the rules very well and some have even used the threat that they will call the authorities if they don't get their way. While the allegation is under investigation, the family life is torn asunder and it usually requires formal family counseling in order to restore the family equilibrium(having been an investigator in CPS, I have seen this on a regular basis). Just be glad we don't live in Sweden where it is illegal to raise your voice to a child! And be aware that there is a person in congress who wants to add this little gem of a law to our laws--fortunately, he was defeated at the time, but he still remains in office.

fontana
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fontana 11/30/10 - 01:01 pm
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Greenville,SC (WYFF news)

Greenville,SC (WYFF news) has a mug shot page showing some of the sleaze in their area. Would it be possible to put a mug shot to each of the murders here in Richmond County? Would it be deemed NOT politically correct or too insensitive?

Vperry
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Vperry 11/30/10 - 01:27 pm
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When they catch these two

When they catch these two guys....they need to do them the same way!!!!

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 11/30/10 - 01:55 pm
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spotted_assassin, just for

spotted_assassin, just for the record, the victims were black, not white. (You seem to think they were white, according to your post). It doesn't matter what their race, past, or what they were doing or planning to do that night, those who have been passing judgment on them, warranted or not, still should understand they didn't deserve the death penalty and what seems to be cold-blooded murder.

SheilaJ15
477
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SheilaJ15 11/30/10 - 04:06 pm
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Patty-P is right about the

Patty-P is right about the threat of child abuse for disciplining children. It does matter in child-rearing practices when a child thinks he will be physically punished for bad behavior. But it is not only the law that wants to tell you how to raise your children, a lot of parents feel that any physical punishment is abuse and refuse to use any type of physical punishment. I don't mean you have to beat your child, but some times just the threat that you will use some type of physical punishment is enough to make a child behave as he should. There is a 6 year old child in my family that has a father that refuses to let his son get a spanking--no matter what he does. This child has just about destroyed their home with the cutting up of furniture and house-whole items with knives and scissors. He even found an unloaded gun (he thought it was loaded) and tried to shoot his grandmother with it. He sets fires in the house all the time. His father's discipline is to try and negotiate with him, bribe him, and plead with him to stop doing something. Instead of being punished, he is rewarded for bad behavior in what the father hopes will make him stop misbehaving. He is a big problem at school as well as at home because his father has told them they are not allowed to punish him. My home is one of the few places that he behaves because I have already told him in a stern voice & under no certain terms what I would do to him (spank him) if he tries to destroy anything in my home. This child is only 6 years old and I hate to think what he is going to be like when he reaches his teens--I don't think he will make it to being an adult without spending time in prison.

No matter what these girls did or did not do, they didn't deserve to have their life taken away from them. And no matter what type of home life that these thugs were raised in, they don't deserve sympathy of the public or the courts--or like the 6 year I was just mentioned, they will go through life thinking that they can do anything that they want to and will continue to harm or kill others if they are not punished for what they did.

Discussionstarter
530
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Discussionstarter 11/30/10 - 10:40 pm
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Augusta continues to flow

Augusta continues to flow down the drain. I do not care if Deke gets on TV and talks about the new company bringing 100 jobs to Augusta. This once again shows Deke is not a leader and runs from negative situations! We need to help Sheriff Strength and soon!!!!!!!!!!!

angela.washington@comcast.net
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angela.washington@comcast.net 12/01/10 - 02:24 pm
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The last comment was right,

The last comment was right, no need to pass judement, we need to teach all these young ladies about who to hand around and if they start to receive signs of abuse to report it and leave that person alone. these young kids need prayer, not judgment.

Burke
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Burke 12/02/10 - 01:43 pm
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Young kids who are acting in

Young kids who are acting in dangerous ways do need judgment. You can't promote relativism and non-judgment all the while expecting those kids to stop acting dangerously.

Teaching children the difference between right and wrong, safe and dangerous, smart and stupid, takes JUDGMENT. There's such an unnecessarily negative connotation attached to that word, especially be Christians. Judging is GOOD. Cognitive discernment is what separates you from the animals.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them."

Little Lamb
50759
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Little Lamb 03/12/12 - 07:34 am
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So have the police officially

So have the police officially labeled this case as cold?

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