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Arrest made in December mystery killing

Suspect arrested in killing of Wiley Hudson

Bibb County sheriff's deputies arrested Torrance Deon Rouse on Friday, May 20, 2016. Rouse is accused of killing Macon's Wiley Hudson in December of 2015.
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Bibb County sheriff's deputies arrested Torrance Deon Rouse on Friday, May 20, 2016. Rouse is accused of killing Macon's Wiley Hudson in December of 2015.

Now that a Dublin area man is in jail accused of killing a Macon man in December, the victim’s family still wants to know why.

Torrance Deon Rouse, a 20-year-old from the the Laurens County community of Montrose, was arrested about 10:30 a.m. Friday by the U.S. Marshals of the Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force and charged in last year’s slaying of 43-year-old Deleon Wiley Hudson.

“Oh my God, this is so wonderful!” Hudson’s widow, Jeanie, said when she learned of Rouse’s arrest.

Since Dec. 22, Hudson’s wife and in-laws have been puzzled about why anyone would shoot the artistic loner who was due at work that day at the Family Dollar on Shurling Drive.

Jeanie Hudson addresses the killer of her husband, Wiley, who was shot in the head while sitting in his in-laws' SUV on Lakeshore Drive on Dec. 22, 2015.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said investigators think the killing was a failed robbery attempt on a desolate dirt road plagued by illegal dumping.

The arrest comes six months after Hudson’s body was discovered with a gunshot wound to his head inside his in-laws’ Xterra, which was parked on Lakeshore Drive. Someone had tried to set the SUV on fire, but the rag sticking out of the gas tank had burned out, according to Telegraph archives.

Of the 28 homicides in Macon-Bibb County last year, Davis said 27 of them have now been solved.

Late last month, the sheriff’s office released surveillance images of a man who was walking in the area the morning of the slaying.

“It just shows that we never give up on a case, and that it is also very encouraging that people who know things come forward and let our investigators know what they know,” Davis said.

Solving the case was “like unraveling a piece of cloth,” he said.

“You take one little thread and you pull it and before long you’re able to build a case,” Davis said.

The sheriff said the tipster deserves all the credit.

“Someone is now charged in that terrible, terrible murder of Wiley Hudson,” he said.

Sheriff’s detectives alerted the family late Thursday that a suspect had been identified and an arrest warrant signed.

Hudson’s sister-in-law Beverly Conner said his family is relieved to learn of the arrest.

“We are just ecstatic and relieved that Wiley’s got justice. That’s how we feel,” Conner said. “Our hearts are not heavy right now. They’ve been heavy for six months, and we’ve been heartbroken.”

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor

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