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.