Crime

Following standoff, two more arrested in Laurens County killing

After a standoff in a Vidalia motel Saturday morning, a man and a woman wanted in connection with a Laurens County fatal shooting on New Year’s Eve surrendered to police.

David Ray Woodard, 29, and Samantha Nicole Pruett, 23, are being held in Laurens County jail for the murder of 25-year-old Antone Johnson of East Dublin, according to a news release. The shooting occurred at a home on U.S. 319 in East Dublin last Wednesday. Seventeen-year-old Peter Vanderlin Jr., also of East Dublin, was shot and taken to the hospital.

On Thursday, 38-year-old Corey Michael Bergeson, was arrested and charged with murder in the case. Deputies had been looking for Woodard and Pruett since the shooting took place.

Laurens County Sheriff Office investigators learned Friday the couple was in the Vidalia area, the release stated. Deputies from Laurens and Toombs counties and Vidalia police conducted surveillance and concentrated patrol in Vidalia late Friday.

Additional information early Saturday led deputies and officers, as well as the state police, to the Royal Inn on 1st Street in Vidalia. Woodard and Pruett “were holded up,” in the motel surrounded by law enforcement, the release stated. The couple “initially refused to surrender to law enforcement. However, after a period of negotiation, Woodard placed a handgun outside the room. ... Negotiations continued, eventually resulting in the surrender” of the couple without incident.

Additional charges, including aggravated assault for the shooting of Vanderlin will be sought as the investigation continues, the release stated.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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