Authorities identify Houston County homicide victims, arrest 3rd suspect

chwright@macon.comAugust 21, 2013 

Justice Bernard Evans

WARNER ROBINS -- Two victims in a Houston County double homicide were identified Wednesday, hours after deputies arrested a third man in the crime and filed additional charges against another.

Information about the Monday killings has been scarce since the bodies were found in a wooded area in west Houston County. A narrative about what happened, the motive and how the men involved knew each other has not been released.

“I can’t tell you how soon (an explanation will be available), but there will be one tying that all together for you,” Houston County sheriff’s Lt. Dave Carrick said.

Carrick said authorities identified the victims as 30-year-old Shaland McConnell and 32-year-old Ruben Miranda, both of Jonesboro, from descriptions their families provided, including tattoos. The GBI is analyzing fingerprints as assurance, Carrick said.

Deputies arrested 20-year-old Justice Bernard Evans, of Macon, at 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to a news release. Police arrested Coleman Lawrence Crouch, 21, of Warner Robins, and Thomas Andrew Kelley, 19, of Byron, on Tuesday.

All of the men have been charged with two counts of murder. Crouch, who already faced an additional charge of tampering with evidence, was charged Wednesday with two counts of concealing the death of a person.

Evans also was charged with two counts of concealing the death of a person and one court of tampering with evidence.

The men are being held without bond in the Houston County jail.

Authorities have not released the details of the murders because there are still people they’d like to speak with, Carrick said.

He said these people are not considered additional suspects.

Houston County sheriff’s deputies were called to a log house in the 100 block of Chadwick Road at 5 a.m. Monday, where they found evidence of gunshots inside, according to a news release. The bodies of two men were found in a nearby wooded area seven hours later near U.S. 41 and North Houston Lake Road.

Neighbors of the Chadwick residence said Monday that about five people have been renting the house for about a year. They also said shouting and other noises have been heard coming from it in the past.

The neighborhood is tucked in a Houston County pocket in Warner Robins. Neighbors said they felt it was a safe area, and authorities said the killings seemed to be isolated.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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