19-year-old suspect is identified

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A day after David Reader, the principal cellist for the Augusta Symphony, was found fatally shot in an east Augusta neighborhood, his father recalled his son's newfound confidence in his music -- something that had eluded him for years.

"Through continued encouragement of mentors that saw his talent and the beauty of his music, he persevered," said Dr. Whitney Reader in a phone interview Monday from Kansas. "He was just beginning to enjoy the success that he had worked so long to prepare for."

Richmond County authorities spent Monday searching for two men they think shot Mr. Reader, 26, in the chest in an apparent drug deal gone wrong.

Late Monday night they identified one of the suspects as Anthony Gerome Joe Jr., 19.

He is wanted on charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and is considered armed and dangerous

Police said they linked Mr. Joe to the death after a day of questioning residents of the neighborhoods near East Augusta Commons on East Boundary, where the musician was found early Sunday shot to death in his car.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Mr. Reader was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati-College-Conservatory of Music and Georgia State University, where he received bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance, respectively.

As a 5-year-old, he joined seven musically talented siblings, learning to play the piano and violin, Dr. Reader said.

But he switched to the cello as a teenager.

The cello was more than an instrument to Mr. Reader, his father said, it was a way for the normally subdued young man to communicate with the world.

"David used music to say things the way other people use words," Dr. Reader said. "He was one of those rare people who could bring you to tears when you heard him play."

Sandra Self, the executive director of the Augusta Symphony, called Mr. Reader's death a "huge loss" and said she hadn't noticed anything unusual about Mr. Reader in the days before his death.

"Everything was fine," Ms. Self said. "He was a fun cellist and the leader of the section. He was also very excited about this coming year, about the conductor search. He loved music and loved doing what he was doing."

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for Mr. Reader's death. Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Staff Writer Steven Uhles contributed to this article.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (98) Add comment
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Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 05/13/08 - 02:44 am
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KUDOS to the person(s) who

KUDOS to the person(s) who "stood tall" by coming forward with information in the Reader murder case. Only the people of any given neighborhood can take back their streets. Some courageous residents of East Augusta Commons have begun that process.

Dark Lord
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Dark Lord 05/13/08 - 06:26 am
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Good job RCSO. You guys are

Good job RCSO. You guys are truely a blessing to this city. By now the bad guys should know that you will catch them and catch them really quick.

LiLBrown
1
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LiLBrown 05/13/08 - 06:58 am
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damn African Americans

damn African Americans

pursesshoes all day
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pursesshoes all day 05/13/08 - 07:23 am
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damn lil

damn lil brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pursesshoes all day
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pursesshoes all day 05/13/08 - 07:24 am
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and your momma

and your momma too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Itll be alright
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Itll be alright 05/13/08 - 07:26 am
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oh my

oh my

brimisjoshan
2
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brimisjoshan 05/13/08 - 07:29 am
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the culture that many african

the culture that many african americans choose (and yes I said choose) to live in lends itself to nothing but crime and it is such a waste of good lives that it makes me sick.

The Kingfish
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The Kingfish 05/13/08 - 07:48 am
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Sounds like music wasn't the

Sounds like music wasn't the only thing he loved. Sounds like he loved drugs also.

curly123053
4255
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curly123053 05/13/08 - 07:49 am
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They keep telling the tragic

They keep telling the tragic story of a well educated cellist being shot to death and now they say it was possibly a drug deal gone bad. Goes to show it don't matter how smart you are, if you do stupid stuff like dealing with drugs your stupidity eventually catches up to you in a tragic way. If he was dealing drugs then he did this to himself.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 05/13/08 - 07:49 am
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Taking a life is not

Taking a life is not nessesary unless you are in a situation of defending yourself or your family,the truth is that these wanna be gang members don't have respect for themselves, let alone another human being, they would shot there mother is they had anything to gain from it. They sell drugs and kill because they are to lazy to do real work. These young men are choosing this type of life style, I refuse to believe they are a circumstance of their environment, no matter how poor you are everyone has the opprotunity to gain an education if they want it, you notice the word WANT......

curly123053
4255
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curly123053 05/13/08 - 07:50 am
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He was a victim of his own

He was a victim of his own consequences it appears.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 05/13/08 - 07:52 am
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I don't think he was the

I don't think he was the dealer, I think he was the buyer and you would be surprised how many people walk around you everyday that have both drug and alcohol problems, you can have the best job and the best family and still have a drug problem. And any life lost to this type of senseless behavior is a tragidy, no matter what your background. They didn't have to kill this man, they wanted to kill him.......

curly123053
4255
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curly123053 05/13/08 - 07:54 am
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He basically killed himself

He basically killed himself dealing with drug dealers.

curly123053
4255
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curly123053 05/13/08 - 07:54 am
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When you mess with losers you

When you mess with losers you will eventually lose.

christian134
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christian134 05/13/08 - 08:06 am
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One lesson I have learned

One lesson I have learned from life, perhaps the greatest lesson, is that if you venture into Satan's sandbox to play you will eventually pay the price....These lessons are painful but if you survive to live another day I would urge those who are tempted to run as fast as you can the other way....Again to the family and friends my sympathies....

curly123053
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curly123053 05/13/08 - 08:11 am
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I do feel for his family and

I do feel for his family and friends for this tragic lost, but if he was doing what it appears he was doing then he brought it on himself. This is really a sad story of someone who could have gone far in his career.

UrNotReady4TheTruth
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UrNotReady4TheTruth 05/13/08 - 08:12 am
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A real case of "You Live by

A real case of "You Live by the Sword, You Die by the Sword!"... Now everyone is trying to glorify him(Crackhead\ Drug Dealer). No one deserves to be killed! Just think, this guy was around our children and was suppose to be a mentor, role-model... Makes you think how many teachers are on drugs or invloved in making\selling them.

InChristLove
22420
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InChristLove 05/13/08 - 08:45 am
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"Truth" I don't think people

"Truth" I don't think people are trying to glorify David. I think they are trying to show that even this inspiring young man got caught up in the wrong thing. We can condemn him all we want but none of us are perfect. From what I read yesterday, David was a child of God and at least he is with his Savior. My sympathies go out to his family and friends. Satan is here to decieve and destroy us and drugs, alcohol and sex are his main weapons. The flesh is weak and whether David was buying drugs or not, maybe if he had stayed in church he would have looked to Almighty God for his relief instead of drugs.

justus4
99
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justus4 05/13/08 - 08:49 am
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Boy! Let one poor white boy
Unpublished

Boy! Let one poor white boy get killed and the conclusion is; a minority did it. What about "rule of law?" Wow! What about, "innocent until proven guilty" and hillbilly justice. If those attitudes reflect a 1950s mentality, how can the system be trusted for accuracy? (we know what happened in 50s) Do they have the correct shooter? Where is the evidence? Any eye witnesses? Will the suspect slip on the stairs? A sad story of another day in America.

Justthefacts please
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Justthefacts please 05/13/08 - 08:57 am
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Al Sharpton and Jesse

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, professional race hustlers who have banked hundreds of thousands of dollars by begging for money to fight the jailings of blacks. Oddly, they never show up when a black gangster kills someone. For the record, I refer to the shooting deaths of Auburn student Lauren Burk, UNC student Eve Carson and now the Augusta cellist. The cellist apparently created the situation for his own death by doing business with a black drug dealer. Thankfully, the law has caught all the perpetrators of these awful crimes and the ones now in jail are black. These incidents put in the proper perspective Sharpton's and Jackson's complaints about blacks being jailed.

huggybear308091
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huggybear308091 05/13/08 - 08:59 am
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Well as Theodore Roosevelt

Well as Theodore Roosevelt said in 1907 if you live here the Africian Part should be dropped.

"'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American People.' "
Theodore Roosevelt 1907

ABerger
1
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ABerger 05/13/08 - 09:02 am
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Reread the story - they have

Reread the story - they have not caught anyone.

brimisjoshan
2
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brimisjoshan 05/13/08 - 09:05 am
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Our assessment of the

Our assessment of the situation is based on eyewitness of Mr. Joe who does happen to be black. He will have his opporturnity to prove if he is guilty or not. By all means our courts do more to help the criminals than the victims today. Personally, I believe the old system worked better. We had less crime when people (black or white) feared hanging from a tree within a week if they were caught for a crime. People get off easy today. And dont even get me started about gangs requiring you to shoot someone to get into their gang. Prison is considered a reward for these thugs.

batya
280
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batya 05/13/08 - 09:21 am
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I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that one moron makes up something based on assumption and suddenly it's fact???? Don't destroy the name of a person that you don't know!!!!!! Think about the family!!

NicoleKelly
7
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NicoleKelly 05/13/08 - 09:25 am
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Wow!!! How did this turn

Wow!!! How did this turn about color!! It amazes me how people just turn a bad situation into a worst one. God rest his soul...

PLAYLIKETHUNDER4
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PLAYLIKETHUNDER4 05/13/08 - 09:39 am
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justus4, you are an ignorant

justus4, you are an ignorant ,sorry piece of human excrement.
rcr...this is the type of racist crap that is going to keep the flames of hatred burning a long time to come.
justus4, your day is coming, boy...and it will be a bad one.one day the crows will come to roost at your door....i only hope i get to read about it, and how you handle it.
a minority did kill this boy, a minority,no,let's clear this up... a b-l-a-c-k ,worthless drug dealing ,no class,ebt card toting breathing good air someone else could be using, low life piece of crap....was it you??? sounds like you. smells like you.musta been you, or someone like you.maybe it was your cousin, since all ya'll are cuz this and cuz that.
i hope they execute this sorry piece of crap, and i hope that it is broadcast on tv and is made mandatory.
maybe you could host the execution and explain how it all works, so boys in your area will understand how life and death works.i'd like to explain it more succinctly to you, but sadly, that won't happen.
lucky you.

christian134
1
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christian134 05/13/08 - 09:43 am
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How did this turn to color

How did this turn to color Nicole?... Just let Justus4 jump into the pool...Hey Justus you little racist devil you how are you doing this fine morning.....Let this be about the young man and his family and not you....

JackReacher
2
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JackReacher 05/13/08 - 09:51 am
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Nicole Unfortunately, a

Nicole

Unfortunately, a discusson like this normally ends up this way. Every homicide victim is important, regardless of who they are or where they live. The media has a tendency to sensationalize some cases over others, therefore giving the perception that some victims are more important than others, and by that token are given more attention. The investigators of the Major Case Squad, who incidently have solved the last 44 murders in Richmond County back to back, roll on every homicide case. These guys and girls are volunteers and get paid no overtime or other compensation for the extra house they work when they get called out. The goal is to solve the case quickly, therefore bringing some closure for the family and justice for the victim. The only reward is catching the killer. Sometimes that's enough..

Peace be with you.

JR

js_ee
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js_ee 05/13/08 - 10:02 am
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For the record, brimisjoshan

For the record, brimisjoshan (7:29am) made it about color. Playitlikethunder2, if you want to take shots at justus4, then do that, but I don't think you are qualified to to group all blacks together as you did. That is, unless that is truly how you feel about all black people. If so, then GOD help you. By the way, if you happen to actually listen to more black people you'll notice that the greeting of choice is 'brother', not 'cuz'...just thought you should know that.

PLAYLIKETHUNDER4
0
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PLAYLIKETHUNDER4 05/13/08 - 10:28 am
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yeah , well, justus4, you

yeah , well, justus4, you have to live with yourself, and that has to be hell,boy.

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