Originally created 02/24/03

Police arrest man in shooting death



Police say they expect to charge an Augusta man this afternoon in the early morning shooting death of Willie Rhodes.

Lt. Jack Francisco of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office identified Michael Smith, 43, as the chief suspect. He is in custody along with three others. The names of the other three have not been released.

Mr. Rhodes, 27, of Rio Ridge Drive, Hephzibah, died Monday following an altercation in the 500 block of Bohler Avenue, authorities aid.

According to Lt. Francisco, Mr. Smith and others went to rob the house of an acquaintance of Mr. Rhodes in the 500 block of Bohler Avenue near Greene Street.

During the robbery, a fight broke out between Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Smith, and Mr. Rhodes was shot in the head, Lt. Francisco said. Mr. Rhodes was pronounced dead at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital at 3:30 a.m., Lt. Francisco said.

The others being held may face criminal conspiracy charges, as they were aware that a crime would take place, Lt. Francisco said.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or at jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.