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2018: Shootings, child predator stings and missing woman

January 1, 2019

Rome and Floyd County saw what appeared to be an increase in shootings, especially shooting deaths, during 2018. Without yearly statistics available it is difficult to say how much of an increase, if any, over previous years. The crimes detailed in this story were only a small portion of the crimes investigated by our local police.

Murders

Multiple killings and shootings have been reported throughout the year in Rome and Floyd County, with arrests made in most of them.

The year began with the shooting death of Rimmi Singh, the owner of the Burnett Ferry Quick Stop, and the shooting of a clerk at Elm Street Food and Beverage. Lamar Rashad Nicholson was quickly arrested and charged. He also faces charges in a third shooting on Wilma Drive.

During the middle of the year several killings resulted in arrests on murder charges.

In April, Hassan Shareef Rashad and Sydney Kiara Dean were charged in the beating death of a 2-yearold child.

On May 23, Martez Harris was fatally shot during a domestic dispute on Tamassee Lane. Demonte Tywon Penn, the boyfriend of Harris, was charged in his murder.

Just weeks prior, Crystal Dawn Vega was removed from life support after being shot in front of her children three days earlier. Vega’s boyfriend Nakotah Javez Smith was charged in her slaying.

A day after Vega was shot, John Alton Allen Jr. was shot in the chest, ribs and stomach on Wright Street. Five days after the fatal shooting, Grady Harper Jr. was arrested and charged in the case.

In July, Keilan Laron Orr, 18, was arrested and charged with murder after the death of 37-year-old LaMario Majors.

Hugh Don Wyatt was found shot dead on his front lawn on Nov. 23 with gunshot wounds to his chest and torso.

Tamaine DeShaun McKnight, was found shot to death in the old SunTrust Bank parking lot at 510 Calhoun Ave. in September.

The killings of Wyatt and McKnight are the only two cases in 2018 which didn’t result in the arrest or warrant being issued for the suspect.

Cody Deangelo Thompson was released on $15,000 bond after turning himself in at the jail for the Dec. 11 shooting death of 35-yearold Richard Jermaine Boatner at the Cottis Inn on Martha Berry Boulevard.

Child predator stings

Multiple men were arrested locally and later indicted on obscene internet contact with a child charges after Floyd County Police conducted a series of stings.

As part of that operation the men communicated online with people they believed to be minors to make arrangements for sex. They were all arrested during February and March after they went to different places with the intent to meet a child to commit sexual acts.

A total of 76 people were among those arrested and charged as part of that sting — dubbed Operation Southern Impact II — a coordinated child exploitation investigation in eight Southeastern states.

In November, an undercover four day operation centered in Bartow County netted the arrest of 20 men over a four day period.

The operation took several months of planning, a GBI press release stated, and several of the men — including one registered sex offender —traveled from areas around Northwest Georgia with the intent to meet a child for sex.

Case review of woman shot by police on U.S. 411 still ongoing

The Floyd County District Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the findings of a GBI investigation into the shooting death of a Cedartown woman by law enforcement officers.

District Attorney Leigh Patterson said there is no announcement to be made at this time from her office concerning the GBI case file, which was delivered there at the end of June.

The details released by the GBI on May 7, the day of the shooting, indicated 55-year-old Kimberley Rae McCann fired at police after crashing in to several patrol vehicles at the intersection of U.S. 411 and Ga. Loop 1 during a chase. She was killed by the gunfire returned by four officers, marking, at that time, the 11th officer-involved shooting in Georgia over an 11-day span.

On the day of the shooting, McCann was speeding through a school zone in Cave Spring when an officer attempted a traffic stop. But she did not stop and a chase began.

Dismembered body of woman found in Bartow Co. dumpster

The investigation is still open in the murder of a West Virginia woman whose dismembered corpse was found at a Bartow County dump.

Courtney Nicole Dubois’ dismembered body, which was cut into an undisclosed number of pieces, was discovered Aug. 13 at the landfill on Allatoona Dam Road near Emerson. A sanitation worker found a body part while dumping a container from a remote collection site.

Sheriff’s deputies and GBI investigators found more of her remains later which had been wrapped in separate bags and traced them to the collection site on Cedar Creek Road in Cartersville.

The container brought to the landfill had been sealed Aug. 11.

No arrests have been made in the case.

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