22-year-old charged in Laurens County killing

Staff reportSeptember 19, 2013 

Jesse Rowland

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting death in the southern end of the county Thursday.

At 6:21 a.m., the county’s 911 center was notified of a shooting victim on rural Howard Road. Authorities identified him as Michael Whittle, 51, who was found lying in his yard, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers arrested Jesse Rowland, 22, several miles from the crime scene about 8:15 a.m. and charged him with murder. He is being held in the Laurens County jail, and investigators are working to determine the motive for the killing, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office said there may be more arrests in the case.

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