Originally created 12/17/05

Slain man's wife grateful for arrests



The common-law wife of a slain Augusta man said late Friday she was grateful for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office's hard work in apprehending two of the three men suspected in his slaying.

Tonia Lynch, the woman who spent the last 17 years with Melvin Dorsey, said she especially appreciated Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Richard Roundtree's devotion to the case.

"The night he passed away, he (Sgt. Roundtree) said he was going to make it his business to find these people," said Ms. Lynch. "And in the name of Jesus, I hope that's them."

On Friday, investigators formally charged two men with murder in the Oct. 27 home invasion death of Mr. Dorsey , who was killed when one of three masked intruders fired a gun through the bedroom door of Ms. Lynch's residence in the 1400 block of Brown Street.

Ricardo Scruggs, 17, and Antonio Harris, 22, were charged with murder, armed robbery, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to police.

Mr. Harris was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, police said.

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Andrew Lambert, 20, on similar charges. He is to be considered armed and dangerous, according to police.

The night of the shooting, Ms. Lynch and several friends were playing cards when the men, all wearing Halloween masks, burst inside and demanded money.

Mr. Dorsey, a dialysis patient, was in the bedroom, Ms. Lynch said. When he touched the doorknob to see about the commotion, Ms. Lynch said one of the intruders was startled and fired through the door.

"I told him, 'You just shot my husband,' " she said.

Without Mr. Dorsey, Ms. Lynch said she has no peace of mind.

"I miss him so much," she said. "I really do. If I could just relive that night, I'd rather have the bullet than him because he was the most innocent person here.

"Melvin was the best man you'd ever want to meet," she said.

Reach Kate Lewis at (706) 823-3215, or kate.lewis@augustachronicle.com.