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Woman shot, dragged along road in McDuffie slaying

Garth Snow/Morris News Service
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THOMSON, Ga. — Two McDuffie County residents have been charged with murder in the death of a woman who was shot and then dragged down a rural road.

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Police say Jennifer Kitchen Wells was shot at 10:19 p.m. Thursday at Happy Valley Store, south of Thomson.  Garth Snow/Morris News Service
Garth Snow/Morris News Service
Police say Jennifer Kitchen Wells was shot at 10:19 p.m. Thursday at Happy Valley Store, south of Thomson.

The body of Jennifer Kitchen Wells, 36, of the 3000 block of Anthony Lane in Gibson, was recovered about five miles west of the Happy Valley Store south of Thomson, where the shooting occurred about 10:19 p.m. Thursday.

A blood trail began with a pool across the southbound lane of Wrens Highway. It trailed through the dirt parking lot of the Happy Valley Store, then west for miles on the westbound lane of Happy Valley Road.

Ricky Charles Wells, 43, of the 900 block of Hobbs Mill Road near Dearing, and Tina Ann Wells, 40, of the 1200 block of Davis Circle in Boneville, were arrested in neighboring War­ren County by Glascock County sheriff’s deputies. The suspects were taken to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center in Thomson.

Pat Morgan, the agent in charge for the Geor­gia Bureau of Investigation, could not confirm the relationship among the three people who shared the same last name. He said interviews and investigation will continue.

Morgan and McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall confirmed there was evidence at the scene of the victim’s body being dragged.

“At this time I’m not going to get into why it was so vicious,” he said.

Marshall, whose department was first to respond to the scene, said there was blood evidence near the store and indications that two vehicles had left the scene.

Calls went out to nearby agencies. Thom­son police set up a roadblock. Warren and Glascock county deputies were on alert.

“Two vehicles were spotted in the area of Purvis School Road and Georgia Highway 80, which is actually in Warren County,” Marshall said. “From that location, Glascock County sheriff’s officers approached the two vehicles, and it was determined that the two occupants were suspects in the shooting at the Hap­py Valley Store in McDuffie County.”

Morgan said an autopsy is scheduled today at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta. He would not discuss the condition of the body.

The victim lived with her two children in a mobile home community along Beech Tree Acres Road in Gibson.

“She was a good neighbor,” Tony Radford said. “She kept to her herself and took care of her two children. She was always home.”

Radford said Wells delivered newspapers in Thomson. He said she worked at Balloon Delights in Thomson until the February fire that closed several businesses in a Hill Street building. She also had worked as a waitress at a restaurant and club in Gibson, he said.

“She was a good person. She’d do anything for you,” he said. “She never said anything bad about anybody.”

Morgan said cooperation among agencies was key to making the arrests.

“If it hadn’t been for this teamwork, we’d probably be standing here today asking for the public’s help in identifying these suspects,” he said.

Residents near the rural store reacted in shock.

“I could not imagine someone doing something like that,” Sabrina Thomas said.

She said she lives near a section of the road that was closed until late Friday morning as deputies recovered evidence.

Rob Thomas said the crime was hard to believe.

“Cold-blooded is one thing,” he said. “But the cruelty. You’d never think that in this country.”

Comments (43) Add comment
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tgentry
231
Points
tgentry 09/30/11 - 10:55 am
1
0
Wow, when the News gets the

Wow, when the News gets the full information on this crime and how disgusting it is, the comments here will be interesting.

HHSgrad
7
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HHSgrad 09/30/11 - 11:02 am
1
0
Well, wrdw has much more

Well, wrdw has much more details posted on their websites. This was absolutely horrible. No names have been released, but says it was 36 yr old Glascock Cnty woman and they have her ex-husband and his girlfriend in custody. This lady was shot and then drug down the road from Happy Valley Store into Warren County which is about 7 miles.
My prayers to this family.

curiousone
1
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curiousone 09/30/11 - 11:09 am
1
0
Horrible, horrible thing --

Horrible, horrible thing -- Let's just all keep the victim's family in our prayers. This is beyond imagination.

MercadiesMX1983
13
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MercadiesMX1983 09/30/11 - 11:30 am
1
0
tgentry- I agree with you...

tgentry- I agree with you... I am so mad right now I can't even comment. This is TRAGIC! Sick Trash that's all they are. And what was the girlfriend thinking?? If this guy could do such a horrible thing to some one he once loved, to someone he was married to, what do you think he would do to the girlfriend once she was an ex?? Why can't we bring back the days of the electric chair, bring back the days of torturing the criminals to where the punishment ACTUALLY fits the crime??

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 09/30/11 - 11:51 am
0
1
AC hasn't updated the online

AC hasn't updated the online version of this story yet? Here are the details from another news site.

The Warren County coroner states that a 36 year old Glascock County woman was dragged to her death and possibly shot. Sources point to her ex-husband and his current girlfriend, who are in custody awaiting formal charges. Investigators describe the killing as "henous". GBI plans on releasing the identities of the suspects after they are formally charged.

The coroner goes on to report that due to the dragging the victim suffered massive trauma and her remains would have been impossible to identify had the family not provided investigators with distinctive tattoos and birth markings.

GBI agents say it began as a fight at the store Thursday evening and that a shooting at the store at 10:20 pm and that the victim was dragged down Happy Valley Road into Warren County. All four surrounding county law enforcement agencies were notified and the suspects were apprehended when Glascock County deputies spotted the suspects near a parked vehicle on Purvis School Road and found the body nearby.

Special Agent Morgan says because of this, Glascock County deputies were on alert and spotted the pair of suspects bringing a lucky break to the case. The officers saw a man and woman near parked vehicle along Purvis School Road. The body was also found nearby. Happy Valley Road turns into this Purvis School Road on the Warren/Glascock county line.

SICK, SICK, SICK A man who was one of the people who dragged a man to his death in Texas was executed this week. I am not normally a proponent of the death penalty, but in cases like this, I have to make an exception.

Apparently the poor woman was alive when they dragged her for miles to her death. How did they think they would get away with it? Nauseated and speechless.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 09/30/11 - 11:57 am
0
1
My post was held where I

My post was held where I gave details gleaned from other sites. I'm guessing AC does not want us posting the detail before they do. That said, look up the details they are not hard to find. This is a sick, sick crime of two disgusting people. A man was executed in Texas this week for committing the same crime. I normally do not believe in the death penalty, but I believe in cases of this nature, when the DNA and physical evidence support the conviction that it is justified. I am speechless.

InChristLove
22468
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InChristLove 09/30/11 - 12:13 pm
1
0
This is pure evil! It is

This is pure evil! It is hard to imagine someone being this cruel. I'm wondering did they tie her to the vehicle or was she caught on a bumper or part of the vehicle?

augusta citizen
9137
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augusta citizen 09/30/11 - 12:15 pm
1
0
What I read on the other

What I read on the other sites totally disgusted me too. These two are not only evil, but obviously stupid too. The electric chair would be too good for them. I hope they get the death penalty regardless. Prayers to the victim's family, especially children. Just heartbreaking thinking about her child/children.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 09/30/11 - 12:15 pm
0
1
I was told to paraphrase,

I was told to paraphrase, which I did the first time, so I will try again. A 36 year old Glascock County woman was dragged to her death and possibly shot last night. Two suspects are in custody, her ex-husband and his current girlfriend. According to witnesses, a fight was reported at a store yesterday evening and a shooting was reported at the same store at 10:20 pm. The woman's body was dragged down Happy Valley Road from McDuffie County to Warren County and was found just inside the Glascock County line. Police agencies of all surrounding counties were notified and the suspects were apprehended when Glascock County deputies saw the suspects near a parked car just inside the Glascock County line on Purvis Road and found the body nearby. The suspects are in custody and the GBI plans on releasing their identities as soon as they are formally charged. The Warren County coroner stated that the body was mutilated beyond recognition and was only identified due to family members being able to provide unusual markings such as birth marks and tattoos. It is believed the still unidentified woman was alive when she was dragged.

As I said, sick, beyond all reasoning. How did they think they would get away with it? In this case, providing the physical evidence provides for a conviction, I have no problem if they meet the same fate as the man who was executed in Texas last week for committing the same type of murder.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 09/30/11 - 12:22 pm
0
1
Also, McDuffie police are

Also, McDuffie police are being praised for responding so swiftly to the shooting and immediately putting out an APB to all surrounding counties which led to the deputies in Glascock finding the couple and the woman's body so quickly.

So sad that they could not get there in time to stop them from dragging her, she may have survived the gunshot. I also feel so sorry for the deputies who found her body. I know these poor responding officers are just sick over this. Thankfully these monsters were caught quickly and unable to flee and kill someone else and no other innocent people were hurt or killed.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 09/30/11 - 12:29 pm
1
0
My heart goes out to this

My heart goes out to this woman's family and children. I can not imagine the emotional heartbreak these children will have to go through. So sad.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 09/30/11 - 01:54 pm
0
0
In history, only certain
Unpublished

In history, only certain people get a kick out of dragging people behind a vehicle....

Prayers for the family and everyone else involved.

jennjackson
1
Points
jennjackson 09/30/11 - 02:10 pm
1
0
I have guardianship over Mrs.

I have guardianship over Mrs. Jennifers nephew and my heart breaks tremindously due to i knew her.... Jennifer was very sweet and loved her family more then anything. Honestly i believe in crimes like this the same crime should be allowed to be commited to them but thats just my theory... I am constantly praying for the family and i know how bad it hurts to lose a loved one so ive sat and cried as well after i told my nephew what had happened :( Thanks everyone for the prayers and i will definatly send these onto the family.

Connor Threlkeld
722
Points
Connor Threlkeld 09/30/11 - 02:20 pm
1
0
A man in Texas was recently

A man in Texas was recently executed for a similar crime, the horrific 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. Due to controversy over the execution of Troy Davis the day before, his case was mostly reported for a refusal to eat his extravagant "last meal," which led to the end of that right in the state. Byrd's name is part of the full name of the federal hate crime legislation commonly known as the Matthew Shepherd Act. Of the two others convicted in the case, one is on death row, and the other received a life sentence.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/30/11 - 02:22 pm
1
0
How human beings can do this

How human beings can do this to another another is beyond my comprehension. I recall the horror I felt when those animals dragged the man, Byrd I think, to death in Texas. To say they are animals is being kind; animals aren't sadistic.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/30/11 - 02:59 pm
1
0
Ilove, in history certain

Ilove, in history certain kinds of people get a kick out of different types of murders, in history gang members get a kick out of drive by killings. Does that really make it any different? Murder is murder......a life taken is just that, it has no race barriers. Someone has lost a daughter, a family has lost a loved one.We all need to pray for this family and for our world in general. Anyone who can take another persons life regardless of what color their skin is a sorry waste of space.

seenitB4
85821
Points
seenitB4 09/30/11 - 03:46 pm
1
0
So....some against the death

So....some against the death penalty want it for this..... heh?
The very reason we NEED to KEEP the death penalty....animals aren't this cruel.

seenitB4
85821
Points
seenitB4 09/30/11 - 03:47 pm
1
0
These idiots will probably

These idiots will probably make the national news tonight!

augusta citizen
9137
Points
augusta citizen 09/30/11 - 04:11 pm
1
0
I remember about 10 or 12

I remember about 10 or 12 years ago when a woman was dragged to death by a carjacker. Her purse strap somehow got tangled up on the car and she was dragged a mile or so. I think because of the lack of detail at the first reporting of this, InChristLove was just wondering how the dragging came about. I'm guessing they must have tied her to the vehicle which is horrible beyond imagination.

InChristLove
22468
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InChristLove 09/30/11 - 04:29 pm
1
0
augusta citizen, yes, there

augusta citizen, yes, there were lack of details in the article. My thought was maybe she fell (after possibly being shot) and got hooked on the vehicle somehow and was drug behind the car. It is just so unimaginable that someone could be that heartless, I guess my mind is trying to come up with an explanation beside, they tied her to the car and drug her.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 09/30/11 - 05:02 pm
0
0
seenit, the PROBLEM is that
Unpublished

seenit, the PROBLEM is that death penalty will not be sought in the case. If it's a slam dunk case, which all accounts here would suggest it is, there will be no death penalty. And, really, fiscal conservatives should be pleased about that.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 09/30/11 - 05:22 pm
0
1
dougk - in light of the other

dougk - in light of the other slam dunk cases (Rivera pleads guilty and still gets death sentence) and in light that is fits the criteria to seek the death penalty, I don't see why the DA would not seek it. While the death penalty would satisfy a lot of people (including myself in this rare instance) I will agree that fiscally life in prison for them would be better for us as a state.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 09/30/11 - 05:35 pm
0
0
Well, yes, you're right, CH.
Unpublished

Well, yes, you're right, CH. The Rivera case is unique..and, perhaps, this case will be, too. But it does not follow the national norm....but southern states are particularly partial to retributive sentencing.

augusta citizen
9137
Points
augusta citizen 09/30/11 - 05:42 pm
1
0
doug, I'm a fiscal

doug, I'm a fiscal conservative and in favor of the death penalty in murder convictions, I hope these two receive the death penalty, if convicted. Cassandra, I can't see any reason the DA wouldn't seek the death penalty either. A slam dunk case should be more reason to seek and carry out the death penalty.

seenitB4
85821
Points
seenitB4 09/30/11 - 06:13 pm
1
0
Ok we don't know the

Ok we don't know the facts....

... the mind is a terrible thing to waste .

edited because I don't want to offend the family

storiesihaveread
358
Points
storiesihaveread 09/30/11 - 07:01 pm
1
0
This is one time when the

This is one time when the death penalty needs to be quick and not waste the tax payers money by these two animals sitting in prison. Prayers to the woman's family. Chronicle please keep us updated to court hearings etc I so want to be their. Maybe I can voice my disgust in person.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 09/30/11 - 08:24 pm
1
0
Death penalty.

Death penalty.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 09/30/11 - 08:35 pm
1
0
Very BIZARRE story.

Very BIZARRE story.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 09/30/11 - 08:49 pm
0
0
Do you think I am that
Unpublished

Do you think I am that naive?
What do those things have to do with THIS story?

Out of respect for the family, I will say ok, you win, I was wrong.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/30/11 - 09:30 pm
1
0
My prayers for the victims'

My prayers for the victims' family and also for swift and appropriate justice for those who carried out this indescribable tragedy.

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