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Homicides decline; some still unsolved

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The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office finished 2011 with 10 fewer homicides to investigate than in 2010.



Capt. Scott Peebles said the decrease was because of “what we do, along with forces we can’t control.”

December had the highest number of the 27 homicides, five. One of the cases was a death resulting from a January shooting incident. Eight of the cases in 2011 remain unsolved.

• Franklin Lilo Smith, 25, of Swainsboro, Ga., was discovered lying in the middle of the road on Woodcock Drive in Hephzibah on Feb. 5 with a gunshot to his lower back.

• Angelo Quinn Daggett, 23, of River Glen Apartments on Telfair Street, was discovered May 14 in the rear of Building Y with a fatal gunshot wound.

• Travis Daniel Moore, 25, of the 3400 block of Old Louisville Road, was shot in the upper body May 26 outside his home. He died three hours later at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

• Kevin Jamel Evans, 22, of Hephzibah, was discovered dead from a gunshot wound to his upper side in an older couple’s backyard on Portsmouth Place in Heph­zibah on Oct. 13. Au­thorities named Derk Alex­ander Johnson, 25, as a suspect. An arrest has not been made.

• William Carter, 27, of Audubon Place, was fatally shot during a home invasion at his residence Oct. 19.

• Lawrence Russell Moore, 36, of Brooke Lane, was fatally shot in the torso Nov. 20 in an empty lot on Essie McIntyre Boulevard.

• Terrell Kenan Calloway, 23, of Byron Place, died at Medical College of Georgia Hospital after being shot at Golden Camp and Hawthorne roads Dec. 7.

• Ronald Irvin, 47, of Naples Drive, was fatally shot during a home invasion at his residence Dec. 13.

• Tyrone Parrish, 41, of Exuma Drive, was fatally shot in the body at his home Dec. 23.

“We had some tough cases this year,” Peebles said.

The main problem investigators saw this year was a lack of witnesses. Through­out the year, investigators returned to neighborhoods that were the scenes of homicides to pass out flyers while blue lights flashed outside residents’ windows and helicopters flew overhead. Peebles said the main objective is to get people outside of their homes talking about what happened, increasing the chances of investigators getting their hands on the missing piece to an unsolved case.

Once again, the most common motive for killing someone in Augusta was drugs.

“Out of 27 (homicide cases), we are confident there was a drug nexus that was the cause for at least 12,” Peebles said.

Out of the eight unsolved cases, he estimates six resulted from drugs.

Authorities are working leads on at least two of the more recent unsolved cases and anticipate arrests soon. Peebles would not discuss which two cases had strong leads.

The sheriff’s office offers rewards in all open cases.

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Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/01/12 - 04:05 am
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Cases involving drugs should

Cases involving drugs should not be classified as a home invasion because it wasn't like it was a law abiding citizen who's home just happened to be broken into and someone was killed. Captain Peebles is right, for the most part, it is hard from the view of law enforcement to control the number of murders because traditional policing methods that will reduce burglaries and robberies, etc. just don't work with murders. Likewise, the majority of these cases are criminals killing other criminals with no witnesses or are domestic issues in which case no amount of police on the streets will prevent such issues.

It is great that our area had 10 less homicides and I believe Captain Peebles and all of the investigators are doing a great job working diligently to put the culprits behind bars, often with little or no help from the neighborhoods in which these murders are occurring.

Again, to accomplish as much as the RCSO is accomplishing with 2.5 million in budget cuts, huge reductions in force, furlough days, overtime cuts, etc. is a credit to the very hard working men and women as well as the agency leaders.

Our court system could also greatly help to reduce these murders from occurring if they would simply keep violent offenders behind bars once they are arrested. The recidivism rates are extremely high and in most cases (except maybe domestic issues) those who harm the police or murder others have long criminal histories and have been properly arrested by the RCSO or other agencies many times only to be given revolving door justice or plea bargains. All plea bargains MUST END for violent offenders and 3rd strike felons should never see the light of day again. Keep violent people off of the streets with proper sentencing and the police would once again have a chance to catch up and greatly reduce crime since so many of the crimes are repeated by those they have previously arrested and should be behind bars anyway.

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