Richmond County officials question man in triple homicide

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:28 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:26 AM
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Richmond County sheriff’s investigators on the trail of a triple homicide were led to the home of two retired teachers in south Augusta on Tuesday.

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Deputy Joshua Bryant walks the crime-tape line in front of a house on Pinnacle Place Drive. Investigators suspect the home is connected to the discovery of three bodies behind Deer Chase Elementary School.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Deputy Joshua Bryant walks the crime-tape line in front of a house on Pinnacle Place Drive. Investigators suspect the home is connected to the discovery of three bodies behind Deer Chase Elementary School.


Sheriff Richard Roundtree said late Tuesday that they had taken a man into custody about 10 p.m. at an address off of Walton Way Extension. He was being questioned at the sheriff’s office.

Earlier, deputies had placed yellow crime scene tape around a home on Pinnacle Place Drive, and two sheriff’s crime scene investigators waited outside.

Richmond County deputies surrounded the home about 6 p.m. and entered it briefly, according to neighbors who watched the police arrive.

Roundtree said the investigators suspect the home was connected to the grisly discovery of three burned bodies in a wooded area behind Deer Chase Elementary School.

“We believe there is a connection, but we cannot say what it is at this point,” Roundtree said.

The bodies were found after a school janitor called to report a brush fire about noon behind the school, police said.

While extinguishing the blaze, firefighters came across the burning remains of two black men and a third person, possibly a black woman, Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Monica Belser said.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said the three unidentified people were pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. and autopsies are scheduled to take place this morning at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab on Phinizy Road.

Bowen said the first priority would be identifying the bodies and determining a cause of death.

Authorities confirmed the bodies were damaged by fire but would not provide any more
information about the condition of the remains.

The bodies were located near a wooded area on Matthew Court in a newly developed part of the Walton Hills subdivision off Willis Foreman Road. Sgt. Calvin Chew said the bodies were found close to each other.

Chew said police wanted to avoid describing the crime scene in any way that might hamper the investigation or prosecution of those responsible. He said it was the first such triple homicide he’d seen in Richmond County.

Authorities have requested the state Fire Marshal’s Office assist with the investigation, said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. Allen said a state fire investigator was being dispatched to Augusta.

“We are working with local authorities to do whatever we can do,” he said.

Neighbors said they had not seen the owners of the Pinnacle Place Drive home, Edna and Roosevelt Jones, nor had they seen their sons, all day Tuesday.

Cynthia Daly, who lives nearby on Pinnacle Way, said the husband and wife who lived there were retired Richmond County educators. Neighbors said Roosevelt Jones had once taught at Paine College before joining the faculty at Tutt Middle School. Edna Jones had retired from teaching at Jamestown Elementary School, where Daly has worked as a teaching assistant for 20 years.

“She was working at Jamestown when I started there,” said Daly, who was standing in a neighbor’s yard wondering what might have happened to her friend.

“We asked the police if they thought she was OK, and they said ‘No,’ ” said Marsha Vaughn, who lives next door to Daly.

Later that evening, investigators had three vehicles that were parked at the residence towed to the sheriff’s office on Walton Way.

Terrence Everett, 21, one of the many neighbors who came by the Jones home Tuesday evening, said he was worried about his friend, Russell, the younger of the Joneses’ two sons.

Everett said he and Russell Jones knew each other from Hephzibah High School, and that Russell was a sophomore at Fort Valley State University.

“I’m just preparing myself for the worst,” he said.

Comments (34) Add comment
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nocnoc
44879
Points
nocnoc 05/21/13 - 05:15 pm
7
2
The story facts drastically

The story facts drastically changed so I have deleted my comment.

In short what was published at Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:28 PM
and Last updated @ 2:43 PM is not the same location,
They only share 1 fact ... 3 bodies were found.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 05/21/13 - 04:09 pm
7
2
Chilllig discovery. (I'm not
Unpublished

Chilling discovery. (I'm not going to even address the lack of proofreading)

Sean Moores
715
Points
Sean Moores 05/21/13 - 04:39 pm
7
0
@ palmetto

We'll get that fixed in just a minute.

BeMore
24
Points
BeMore 05/21/13 - 04:52 pm
6
2
Hephzibah Zip/Proof reading

It is not Augusta it is in Hephzibah. The city center is up the street about 2 miles. Your right the whole article is a huge misprint. Deer Chase Elementary is a little over a mile away from the actual crime scene.

Riverman1
86874
Points
Riverman1 05/21/13 - 05:04 pm
5
2
BeMore, I really don't know

BeMore, I really don't know where this is, but the Hephzibah zipcode could be for areas not in the city of Hephzibah.

BeMore
24
Points
BeMore 05/21/13 - 05:10 pm
3
1
Riverman1

I live about 1 mile from where the scene is. When I heard it on the radio on the way home from work I knew exactly where the street was. I detoured that part of the neighborhood and saw police activity in the cul-de-sac.

cadam12
5
Points
cadam12 05/21/13 - 05:11 pm
3
1
Bodies behind Deer Chase Elem

My Granddaughter had Honors day in the Lunch room Monday......Wow...

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 05/21/13 - 05:14 pm
10
0
Dude.....talk about getting off on a tangent!

Hepzibah, not technically Hepzibah, nobody can figure it out. Columbia County is the same way with Grovetown, Martinez, Evans, etc.
Point is, AT THAT LOCATION (can we agree it was Richmond County?) three bodies were found, and now the task of founding out who they are and why they are there?

nocnoc
44879
Points
nocnoc 05/21/13 - 05:28 pm
4
2
As the crow flies the

As the crow flies

the original location posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:28 PM Last updated 2:43 PM was Mickey Ct. which is in the Town & Country Subdivision. This location, if it is to believed, is over a mile from on Willis Foreman and a mile away from Mickey Ct.
.

Google Maps is a close but not 1701 Ethan Way,.

Try http://www.homes.com/Home-Prices/ID-300015777771/1701-ETHAN-WAY/

Will get you close and give you an idea of the woods and the school.

Again this Hephzibah in Zip Code only.
The Hephzibah city limits is 2-3 miles south down Windsor Spring road.

BeMore
24
Points
BeMore 05/21/13 - 05:31 pm
4
1
Location

Your right oldfella the location announced on the radio was S. Richmond Cty and that could be anywhere. But when the street was named the location made a big difference when it came to deciding which route that me or others would take to get to our homes in the same Hephzibah community.

GnipGnop
12465
Points
GnipGnop 05/21/13 - 06:23 pm
11
2
Whew...

at least it wasn't in the CBD!!

faithson
5261
Points
faithson 05/21/13 - 06:37 pm
5
1
3

that's pretty extreme. Hope the perps left something to go on.

palmettogreg
29
Points
palmettogreg 05/21/13 - 07:16 pm
1
3
Was Calvin Chew demoted from

Was Calvin Chew demoted from Lieutenant?

fatboyhog
2007
Points
fatboyhog 05/21/13 - 08:48 pm
15
5
Three people

are murdered, and all some can do is bicker about whether it's Augusta or Hephzibah. Good grief, man!

whyme
1994
Points
whyme 05/21/13 - 09:11 pm
9
4
priorities

Is it really so important about where exactly this occurred? And why throw Calvin Chew into the comments? Will the Chronicle ever do anything about this forum?
May the families of these individuals find peace and answers in this tragedy.

p.s. Bemore, before you talk about proofreading, check yourself: "Your right the whole article is a huge misprint" should be "You're..."!

dichotomy
34377
Points
dichotomy 05/21/13 - 09:50 pm
13
3
More bodies to come with Cherry Tree relocating to Boykin Rd.

Things are getting mean in Southeast Richmond County. And I don't mean the thugs, punks, and murderers. As if the downtown clowns haven't done us enough damage, they are now apparently back room sneak meeting on how to build some projects out on Boykin Rd so they can transplant Cherry Tree out here. At least that is the word I am getting through the grapevine.

This is what happens when you have no power, no representation, and you are viewed merely as TAX donors and a DUMPING ground for their unwanted Section 8 transplants.

Southeast Richmond County residents......homeowners in the neighborhoods surrounding Boykin Rd......it's time to get your tar, feathers, sticks, and bricks and visit the Commission meetings and the Planning and Zoning folks.....just kidding.....actually, it's time to get nastier than that. They are, as we speak, in a backroom somewhere fixing to drive the nails in the coffin that they have created in South Augusta and Southeast Richmond County. Your property values will PLUMMET from the already low points that 17 years of Consolidation, prejudicial policy, and outright targeting of the Southeast end of the county have caused. Your schools will be more out of control than they are now and your children will be in danger. Crime will go through the roof. The decision to move Cherry Tree to your area means that the downtown clowns have written your neighborhoods, and indeed this entire end of the county, off as a total loss. They have sucked us dry and will now begin the final process in our demise. The relocation of the worst of their problems to South Augusta and Southeast Richmond County. The HARD CORE SECTION 8'ers, the drug dealers, the gang bangers, the people from the projects where even the police are afraid to go. The folks not fit to live in Deke's redeveloped "old city". Cherry Tree to Boykin Rd is the proof of what the "city" has in mind for this end of the county. Section 8, crime filled, low income, low property values (that the Tax Appraiser and the Tax Commissioner will never admit). Normal people, black and white, will flee the surrounding neighborhoods in the Boykin Rd. area and vacant houses will rapidly become Section 8 rentals.

This area of the county should get used to seeing these kind of headlines since the "city" leaders have decided that Boykin Rd is the next dump site. There will be a LOT more bodies in this area to be written about in the future.

Our commissioner, Wayne Guilfoyle, has apparently been blindsided by this proposal......which shows you how much the downtown clowns disrespect District 8 and all of the taxPAYERS out here. The powerful, the planning and zoning, the other commissioners have hidden this from US and from OUR COMMISSIONER. I have been telling you for a long time, the downtown clowns, Deke, countyman, all of the rest of the commissioners, and "what me worry" Fred, and oh yeh, I'm sure George Patty over Planning and Zoning is in on this too, and none of them give a fiddler's damn about South Augusta and Southeast Richmond County. In fact, they have NOTHING but contempt for us. The only time they think of us is when it is time to pass out the TAX BILLS and GARBAGE FEE hikes and service cuts and when it's time to dump some more Section 8 out of the "city". We are simply their taxpaying dumping grounds. We are the corner of the rug where they sweep the dirt in order to "clean up" the old city.

It's time to get in the streets people. It's time to carry the fight to them. They are secret meeting, backroom meeting, planning things that affect the safety of your kids, the safety of your families, the value of your homes, and your basic quality of life. They had NO INTENTION of telling you until the VOTES were all lined up, horse traded, and it was a done deal. UNDO IT FOR THEM WITH WHATEVER IT TAKES. WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!!! The people in West Augusta would not stand for it....the people on the Hill would not stand for it......the people in Olde Town would not stand for it. We don't need Cherry Tree II out here....ANYWHERE.....we already have enough of their Section 8 exports. This one is a destroyer of, not just a neighborhood, but an entire region of the county. This is the death blow for south of Tobacco Rd. This is one that turns sour the day they announce it and just continues to spread the rot for the next 30 or 40 years.

Jake
32855
Points
Jake 05/21/13 - 10:19 pm
6
2
Don't you like....

....how tragedies bring out the best in people?
"Well if Edison hadn't invented the light bulb then everyone would be home and safe at night and not wandering the streets doing up-to-no-good."
Three folks are dead and this is not a time to worry about where people are living. It should be more about what they are doing.

like-it-is
324
Points
like-it-is 05/21/13 - 10:35 pm
2
1
Fatboyhog and Why me

fatboyhog i agree with you, and Whyme, i was thinking the same thing. (WELL SAID)

Dixieman
15982
Points
Dixieman 05/22/13 - 05:27 am
4
1
Suspect lives "off Walton Way Extension"?

My guess would be this is really one of those apartment complexes on Skinner Mill Road.

seenitB4
90765
Points
seenitB4 05/22/13 - 05:59 am
7
3
I see why

I see why dichotomy put his post on here.....the 3 deaths would be just a beginning of more deaths...& he knows that....the darkness wouldn't stop it either...
BUT it will take more than just posting on here..

seenitB4
90765
Points
seenitB4 05/22/13 - 06:00 am
7
3
YES YES YES

Yes it is important about the location.......only snug as a bug people would doubt that!

nocnoc
44879
Points
nocnoc 05/22/13 - 07:03 am
7
1
Action, Cause and Effect

Jake sorry I have to go with dichotomy.

While I am sadden that 3 people lost theirs lives there is always an Action that Causes a Related Effect.

Dichotomy like most of us on the South side is watching our Property Values and level of safety take a nose dive as more and more problems are relocated to the South Side by Downtown.

This why there is a strong and growing movement for Annexation into Hephzibah which has a logical process call protecting the residents instead of the Politicians. Or a vote to Deconsolidate contiguous parts that wish so.

Downtown has been shoving too much down our throats while picking our pocket for 16 years with very little in return.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 05/22/13 - 08:17 am
5
1
Well Said :

"This is what happens when you have no power, no representation, and you are viewed merely as TAX donors and a DUMPING ground for their unwanted Section 8 transplants. "

Condolences to the victims.

Cestlavie
147
Points
Cestlavie 05/22/13 - 08:24 am
7
0
Wow

I've known this family for decades. Roosevelt and Edna were two of the kindest people I have every known. Their youngest son had just finished his second year of college. Everyone who knows them are in shock about this. We cannot understand how someone could do this to such a remarkable family. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the rest of the family. If I feel like this, I can't imagine what the rest of their children are going through.

crossyourarms
216
Points
crossyourarms 05/22/13 - 09:13 am
4
2
Sounds like anyone who can

Sounds like anyone who can afford to leave south Augusta ... should.

Fiat_Lux
15902
Points
Fiat_Lux 05/22/13 - 10:21 am
2
2
Per usual, Dichotomy gets it exactly right.

I so want to move back to South Augusta, for reasons that probably would make no sense to anyone commenting here. But there is no way that I can see my way clear to doing that because it has changed so much and so badly over the last 15 years.

Even with regular police patrolling and with some really awful areas being demolished or reclaimed, the migration of horrible, predatory bipeds to South Augusta and Hephzibah make it too big a risk to my family's safety and financial future.

People need security cameras on all their doors and shotguns loaded with 00 buck by their beds. And angels watching over them.

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/22/13 - 10:41 am
3
2
This was no random crime...

...where they lived made ZERO difference...who the son chose as friends and associates was a much more important factor.

historylover
11153
Points
historylover 05/22/13 - 10:52 am
1
0
@Crossyourarms

Moving out is exactly what has caused the decay and crime currently found in downtown Augusta and Harrisburg. Property owners should not run, but should rather fight to control what happens in their neighborhoods. If everyone moves, then the property values plummet and the neighborhood becomes nothing but rentals, Section 8 or otherwise. Stand up for yourselves! I live out of the county now (and not Columbia, I promise!) but if I still lived in south Richmond County I would make sure that my county commissioners knew how I felt!!

itsanotherday1
45345
Points
itsanotherday1 05/22/13 - 11:02 am
1
1
Austin- "No random crime".

Austin- "No random crime". That seems pretty obvious considering all of the circumstances.

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/22/13 - 11:30 am
1
1
Just stressing the point...

...that where they lived had nothing to do with the murders.

BTW...according to his latest email...Lt. Chew is still a Lt.

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